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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Why everyone is crazy about Oil Pulling, and so do I?!

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Every morning I battle with the alarm clock. I may snooze for more ten times when finally I go straight to the kitchen and take 1tsp of coconut oil and I start to swishing it. I go back to my room where I meditate by the window for 20 minutes, while swishing around the oil around my teeth. Some days I do spit mucus after it, what is a good sign, it means it is working and cleaning out all the toxins off my body. After I brush my teeth with my homemade toothpaste I continue with my normal daily routine having my morning warm water with lemon to keep detoxing.
Yes, 20 minutes! You read well! It’s the recommended time for the oil pulling. It may sound toooo long, but believe me time flies! Doing my research, my first concern was about the length of time: When could I take 20 minutes for ‘mouthwash’?! But I have found the perfect time to do it. Not everyone has the same routine, but I am sure you will find your own time do it. There are some people who do it while showering or reading emails, be creative!
After one week of oil pulling I noticed an improvement on my acne, my teeth becoming brightener and I feel more energetic, which I think is pretty good.
I know, you are still wondering what the hell is oil pulling…
For years that ancient Ayurvedic natural medicine knows the benefits of oil pulling, but just now became popular by word of mouth. Everyone says thats really works. It doesn’t costs a thing once is another ingredient that should be already on the shelf.
Oil pulling consists swishing oil in the mouth (much like you would do with mouthwash) with a goal of detoxing, rejuvenating the body and allowing the benefits of it to take hold. I recommend you all try it for a month to see what it does for you!

Which oil should be used?

It is preferable to get the highest quality oil you can find. Cold pressed (raw) oil is often said to be critical to the alleged effectiveness. Sesame oilsunflower oilcoconut oil and olive oil are the most recommended for oil pulling, but any vegetable oil will work. I prefer to use coconut oil not only because it has more benefits but also because of the pleasant flavour. I have tried olive oil but I didn’t like the strong flavour.

Want white teeth, gorgeous gums and one seriously healthy body? This is how to do it:

1. First thing in the morning (before brushing and in a empty stomach),  – I do spit even before, since I remember I do that and I guess logical of things it should be good, because I am already spitting out some bad stuff – then pour yourself a tablespoon of the oil of your choice;

2. Put it in your mouth, and swish it around for anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. Push and pull the oil back and forth, left and right, drawing it between your teeth;

3. Do NOT swallow it;

4. Continue swishing. As you continue swishing the oil, it eventually gets much more thin, and even turns white. Spit out a little into the sink. If the color is not white, it means you are not done. So continue until the color of the oil is white;
5. Spit it in the trash  (because it can solidify and clog your pipe, so spitting into your skin is not a good idea);

6. Rinse your mouth out with water;

7. Brush your teeth as normally you do in your daily routine.

If you are curious to know more about it, I truly recommend you to read ‘Oil pulling – Therapy Detoxifying Cleaning’ from Dr. Bruce Fife . You can buy it at:

You can also watch the video.

Another good reading.

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Thumbprint cookies – grain and sugar free

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This goodies are a classic, special during Christmas season. Well, Christmas is over but I’m not waiting until it’s here again to bake one of my childhood favourite cookies – it takes me back when I couldn’t eat whatever I wished due to my allergies to nuts. Now that my allergies are over (thanks to the detox), I am having a blast trying all this grain and sugar free recipes where I can add all the nuts… Back to the recipe, this classic comes with jam, but being a chocolate addicted I filled up mines with it, but you can always flavour it with your favourite jam or added extracts and spices.
Preparation:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper;
3.  In a large bowl, combine the flour,  flaxseed, and the xylitol;
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs whites with a pinch of salt;
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined;
6. With wet hands, roll about 1 tablespoon of the dough into a ball and place on the baking sheet;
7.  Gently press down your thumb in the center of each dough ball to create an indent.
8.  Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes;
9.  Remove from the oven and using the ½ teaspoon, press down again in the indent just to make it a bit deeper as it probably puffed up a bit while baking.;
10.  Let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack;

11. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate nibs and the coconut oil on the stove top;

12. Once cookies are cooled, spoon the chocolate into the indent. Let them sit for about 10 minutes until set;
13. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (if you resist to don’t eat all in same day!).

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

Have you been to the Microcentro district in Buenos Aires?

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I was a very young girl when I watched the movie ‘Don’t cry for me Argentina’ despite of my age, was and still is one of my favourite movies from the 90’s. I know it’s not everyone’s favourite, but I’m a musical lover. I still remember very well the night I watched the movie at a small theatre with my sister, in a cold rainy night, I even remember how much I cried and closed my eyes when it was Evita Peron’s funeral scene. Back that time, so young, never crossed my mind that one day I could be passing by this magnificent pink Palace.

After, I went for a pray at the Cathedral where I felt wonderful, standing by the general’s San Martin (the hero of Argentine independence) tomb that is guarded by two permanent soldiers and  witnessed the changing of the guards.

The afternoon was followed by a long walk in the world’s longest avenue, adorned by a variety  of shops… Walking this avenue killed my feet, I was completely ‘kaput’ by the end of the day dreaming with a foot massage back at the Duhau Palace.

SHOPPING IN BUENOS AIRES I: RECOLETA & PALERMO DISTRICT

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The most upscale neighbourhood of Buenos Aires.  Expect the shopping to be pricey but worthy.

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http://www.companiadechocolates.com

http://www.carinairibarren.com.ar

wwww.caledonio.com.ar

http://www.cardon.com.ar

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Shopping paradise full of trendy national brands catering for men and women, as well small cosy coffee shops.

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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

Fall in LOVE with Buenos Aires . stories . pics . reviews I

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Greek flavours

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