Baked Apples | Recipe Box

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Today, I was cleaning out the fridge, to put the new groceries in, and I found 3 apples that were about to go bad… I was thinking, “what can I do, with them?”. I decided to bake them! The result was very good!

I think that this is one of the easiest and quickest dessert, you can have! And it’s healthy, right?! :p Come on, it is healthy; it is practically a fruit! :p

 

 

The ingredients I used:

3 apples

1 Tbsp butter

1 tsp cinnamon

3 tsp sugar

3 tsp Grand Marnier liqueur

To serve:

Double cream

Dried blueberries

 

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven at 180 Celsius or 375 Fahrenheit degrees. Wash the apples and core them If you do not have the special tool, then use a small spoon! Try not to poke the bottom, like I did with my last one! :p

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2. Prepare your ingredients and line your baking dish with aluminum foil.

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3. Take a parchment paper, cut it in four pieces, place your apples in and bring the edges together to create a small pocket. You do not want to lose the juices!

4. Fill the apples with the ingredients. For each apple you need about 1 tsp of liqueur, 1 tsp of sugar, 1/2 tsp butter and a pinch of cinnamon. You can always add more or less! It really depends on your taste!

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5. Bake for about 40 minutes or until fully cooked and soft! Serve warm with a dollop of double cream and dried cranberries.

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Enjoyy!! 🙂

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Greek Chickpea Yahni | Recipe Box

IMG_20160826_155053Chickpea Yahni is a Greek, simple and delicious recipe, that brings me back to my roots. In Greece, the cooked food that is based on crushed tomatoes is called “yahni”!

Here, among others, you will also find some of my childhood favorite Greek recipes. I like other cuisines as well. The Italian, the Chinese, the Mexican but I adore the Greek food. Maybe is because I am Greek! I cannot be very objective, obviously… :p The thing that I like most is that, out of simple ingredients, like olive oil, tomatoes, olives, vegetables, some meat, some dairy (mostly, feta and yogurt) and oregano, you can make very good and healthy food!

Ingredients: 

2 1/2 cups chickpeas, partly boiled and drained

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 medium onion, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

1 beef or vegetable stock cube, optional

Pinch of salt, be careful with the salt because the cube stock contains salt!

Pinch of pepper

 

Instructions:

1. On a chopping board, chop the onion and mince the garlic cloves.

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2. Place your olive oil in a medium high-side skillet, and heat it over high heat.

3. Add your chopped onion, and saute until it becomes slightly brown and translucent.

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4. At this point, add the garlic, the tomato sauce, 2 1/2 cups of water, the sugar and the vinegar. Give a swirl and wait 2 – 3 minutes or until the water heats up a little bit.

5. Place the rest of the ingredients in the pot; the chickpeas, the beef stock cube, the herbs, the salt and the pepper.

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6. Cover the pot with a lid, lower the heat to medium and cook for about 25 – 30 minutes or until your chickpeas are fully cooked and your sauce reduces. Half way, uncover the pot.

7. In Greece, we serve the yahni with a piece of bread and good quality feta cheese!

Makes 2 servings

Enjoyyy!!! 🙂

 

OK, I will start tomorrow! I promise!

quote1I cannot count the times I said that… I will start my diet tomorrow, I will start my paper tomorrow or Tomorrow, I will wake up early and I will go to the gym… And, I promise to myself that I will really commit to my routine! Countless, instances! Think about it! How many times did you say that, and in which occasions?

Well, let’s start form the beginning! First things first, keep in mind that when I say that I really believe it… I do not know what happens later and I forget about my cause and goal! Where did that positivity go?

I feel like I have to unravel it a little bit…

I cannot say what is the problem with everybody, but I believe that my problem derives from the phrase… fear of commitment. You learned that in order to achieve certain goals in life you have to give up other valuable things. A very classic and overused example is the gym! To commit to an exercise and a diet plan, you have to give up your favorite chocolate cake and your burgers! On top of that, you have to wake up early, hit the gym and then go to your 8-hour work! I am telling you, pretty soon you will give up on it! Now, that I think about it, is not that I am afraid of commitment, is just that I am not ready! and by ready I mean, that i do not really want to “commit”…

I am not saying that I enjoy being uncomfortable with my body or that I enjoy the low exam grades or that there is no room for improvement! All I am saying is that I do not really enjoy the inherent pressure of the word commitment! I hate the strictness of it! For me strictness does produce, the opposite results! Life is not strict, and I like that! You know what.. THAT IS THE BEAUTY OF IT! Imagine our world being strictly organized. Imagine if there was not room for spontaneity! That would have sucked!!

Your goals, my goals are very beautiful, but they should be achieved the right way! I cannot isolate myself to achieve my goals! I cannot distance myself from the people I love just to follow the program! One day, I may arrive at my destination but I will be a sad individual! With that in mind, I think that the initial positive and motivated attitude, whenever I start something, is just a way to disguise my anxiety and fear of failure! You know what…??! During the process, this fear of failure and anxiety will appear again and will stop me from achieving my goals…

Solution…

So, the first step to a better me, is to realize that the world is not a strict place because it is not… So when i try to implement a strict program in this world, it is destined to fail, at some point! I can plan my workouts, papers, meetings around my life but definitely NOT my life around my workouts, meeting etc…. That will never work for me! These are not part of my world!

Embrace the spontaneity of your life! Find something you like, create a program that is suitable for you, eat that piece of cake, go to this trip… at the end of the day what really matters is to enjoy your life! That way you will achieve your goals, without even trying! 🙂

Marble Cake Muffins | Recipe Box

14101602_10210662596071174_658376457_nWhen I think of easy cakes, the first thing that comes in my mind is the marble cake. Chocolate and Vanilla, COMBINED! I mean, come on… how can you go wrong!

I believe that this is an all-time favorite flavor that everyone appreciates!

So far, my mum used to make this cake as a cake… you know, in the cake form… Since everything is better in muffin version, I thought it will be a good idea to make marble cake muffins!

Soooo, here it is!! I hope you recreate it and I hope you like it!! 🙂

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups All Purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup yogurt or sour cream
½ cup whole milk
½ cup vegetable oil, flavorless
1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Batter:

1 tbsp cocoa powder

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C (375 °F) degrees.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs with the sugar, until smooth. Scrape down the sides of your bowl to make sure that everything is combined.

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3. Add the vanilla extract, the milk and the yogurt and mix. At this point, the mixture will look curdled, but do not worry it will smooth out when you will add the dry ingredients! 🙂

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4. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients. Add the flour, salt and baking powder, and set aside.

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5. Now, add the dry ingredients and the vegetable oil, alternating between the two until you finish with your ingredients. Do not over mix your batter!

6. Remove the bowl from the standing mixer and give the mixture a last swirl with your spatula in case something hasn’t been mixed.

7. Take about 3/4 of the vanilla mixture and add the cocoa powder, to make the chocolate mixture. Add 1 tsp of milk to thin the chocolate batter out.

Chocolate Batter

8. Prepare the muffin tin; line the muffin liners and divide the vanilla batter evenly. Continue with the chocolate batter, adding just a teaspoon in each muffin.

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9. Bake them for about 15 to 18 minutes or until fully cooked through. Check with a toothpick! You know the deal.. :p

Makes 12 muffins

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PRAGUE: Travelling Alone

Prague, Charles Bridge, Prague CastleFor some travelling alone seems to be a huge milestone. Even thinking of it, makes people uncomfortable! I am happy to say that I am not one of them! I visited Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, almost 10 months ago! Oh, God! Now that I think about it, it feels like yesterday; it goes so fast…  What was I saying?… Oh, yeah, travelling alone… You will understand why in a moment…

First of all, travelling with company, usually involves compromises and agreements! If you ever travelled with a big group of people, then you know what I am talking about! Lots, I mean, looots of speaking, indecisiveness, lots of “I do not mind, I like both!”, fussiness, waiting and lots of disagreements. Obviously, you lose a lot of time trying to satisfy everybody… That is problem #1.

Problem #2, or better “problem”, is my overall idea of travelling. Travelling for me is discovering, and discovering, in my vocabulary, involves the idea of getting lost. I am an “old school” traveler, who travels with a map and, literally, tries to get lost in the city alleys. Is it crazy? I like being lost! You won’t imagine how many things I found while being lost it Prague. The satisfaction that I got when I found something interesting was indescribable!  I AM A SUCKER FOR THESE MOMENTS! On the other end, travelling with a big group of people eliminates the possibilities of getting lost, in the first place… you know more people, less chances to get lost… Besides, some people hate being lost… At that moment, the whole experience is ruined for me!

Hmmm, I just realized that my problems are very practical…. Do not get me wrong,  I am not saying that travelling with a company is a nightmare, it is just a completely different situation. I love the people around me and I miss travelling with them! All I am saying is travelling alone is also a very interesting experience!

Let’s go to the main trip… To give a little bit of the background story, I went to Prague to visit a friend who was working there! I was alone, during the morning/ afternoon time, because she was busy with her job! That gave me the opportunity to walk for hours and admire the incredible mystery of the city…

The places I visited…

1. The winter Market

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      2. John Lennon Wall

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3. The Prague Castle: The view from there is breath-taking!

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4. Charles’s Bridge and the Astronomical Clock

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5.  While wandering, I found this awesome chocolate coffee shop…

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6. What I eat…

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Goulash                                                  Trdelnik

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Svíčková na smetaně

In Prague I had the BEST dark beer… I do not remember the brand, though! :/

Conclusion….

If you travel to Prague, I would suggest to go visit these places! But also, give some space for discovering! You will randomly find areas, which cannot be found in any trip advisor! Next time you travel, do it alone, take a map with you, and when you feel like you are lost, DO NOT ask for directions! Enjoy the moment! You will figure it out and you will love it….

 

 

 

Favorite TEDx Talks

My favourite TEDx Talks is by Mel Robbins on how to stop screwing yourself over. This speech is my best friend when I go through tough decisions.

Her to-the-point advises are always in the back of my head. Decisions are always simple… BUUUTT, as she says SIMPLE means NOT EASY!

She really helped me find the confidence to purse my goals, as impossible as they may seem…

I love her because she does not pretend that everything will be fine…

Check her out… 🙂