Peanut Butter Porridge | Recipe Box

img_20160910_102708The fall season is officially here and porridge is becoming one of my favourite breakfasts again! This is how I do it… but the toppings I used  here are not my favourite! I was out of bananas 😦 I used dried blueberries and cinnamon, instead…  Yeah, surprise, surprise, I know cinnamon is very good, but for some reason I do not like it in my porridge, all that much.

I will write below my favourite toppings and combinations.

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quick oats (or rolled oats)

1/2 cup milk (add 1/2 cup more milk, in case you do not add any water)

1 Tbsp sugar, or any sweetener of your choice

1 Tbsp peanut butter

Toppings – Option A: 

1/2 banana sliced, walnuts and a splash of milk

Toppings – Option B: 

1/2 tsp cocoa nibs (or shaved dark chocolate) and 1/2 banana sliced

Toppings – Option C: 

1/2 peach, cubed and 1/2 tsp toasted almonds

 

Instructions:

1) In a small saucepan, add the milk, 1/2 cup water, the oats, the sugar and bring to a boil.

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2) Cook for about 2 minutes until it gets creamy and the liquid is adsorbed. Remember to stir constantly, so that is does not stick to the bottom.

3) Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter, until it melts.

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4) Place your oatmeal in a bowl and top it with your favourite toppings or you can choose one of my options.

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Single Portion
Enjoyy! 🙂

 

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Stop Waiting for Tomorrow!

I am not gonna say much… I just want to address something very obvious, that I just…literally…just realized! What is life! Oh, jeez… How pretentious does that sound?

But really, we’ve all read and talked and thought of what life is and how are life is gonna be, right? I did it numerous times… I spent hours fantasizing of how my life is gonna be, but I have never thought that my life is how I am now, how I live now, what I have at the moment and what I actually do today. Do you realize that?…. I did not! I really did not understand what it meant…. LIFE IS NOW, NOW… I mean, the future itself is shaped from the “now”!

Goals are just ideas in our brain! They do not really exist, until we achieve them and they become “tangible”, in a way… In that sense, is pointless to think about the future! OMG, how pointless, is to spend  your time thinking about scenarios! No matter how much you think about the future and how you imagine it,  nothing will happen, if you do not start doing something at the moment… And, let me tell you, even if you do start working towards a “goal”, at the end of the day, no one can assure you that you will get there – you might or might not!  What are you gonna do, then? Cry, take a step back? What?

I suggest, be happy with whatever happens… Get up and go for the next one… start working for the next one! Do not stuck in your failure… push yourself, everyday to a better you. That is success! That is LIFE! Your “Life” consists of what happens now and what happened before! quote-791953_1920Future is simply a word, that does not mean anything at all… future does not exist, in the first place.

Now, I can go back to sleep, cause I literally, woke up to write this! Yeah, when I close my eyes, my brain starts functioning in a very weird way! Do you also have that or am I the only weirdo!

 

Night, Night! 🙂

Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies | Recipe Box

img_20160904_215756Again, cookies! I am obsessed with cookies this week… not only this week, but these days something happened, especially! Can’t explain it! :p

A twist to the classic raisin oatmeal cookie! I used dried blueberries, instead, because I adore the tartness of the blueberries! Yes, they are soft! Crispy thin cookies do not exist on my vocabulary! Okay, let’s not be that…. harsh! I just do not like them all that much… :/

Anyway, stop rumbling, girl! Recipee…

 

Ingredients:

1 cup oatmeal

1 1/2  cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup dried blueberries

1/2 cup butter, soften at room temperature

2 medium eggs

2/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven at 175 degrees Celsius (365 Fahrenheit). In a bowl, cream the soft butter and the sugar for a few minutes, using a spatula.

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2. Add the baking powder, the vanilla and salt. Once they are mixed, add the eggs!

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3. Mix in the dried blueberries, the flour and the oatmeal until the ingredients are well combined.

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4. Line a tray with a parchment paper and, with an ice cream scoop, scoop the cookies in the tray. Keep in mind that this recipe makes for 12 cookies. Do not forget to tap the cookies with your figure so that they spread a little bit. These are soft cookies – they won’t spread during baking all by themselves!

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5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked fully. Let them cool down and then transfer them on a wire rack.

Makes 12 cookies

Enjoyy! 🙂

 

Vegetarian Cajun Pasta | Recipe Box

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Vegetarian Version of Chicken Cajun Pasta! Easy dinner, mode on! Do not mind the green stuff on the plate, its cilantro! I only added it to decorate the plate but I do not think it worked very well! :p It looks like I forgot the dish under a tree, or something! ahahaha….

 

Ingredients:

11oz (300g) bow-tie pasta, dry
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into half-moon slices
12 oz (340g) white mushrooms, in wedges
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

1. Fill a large pot with water, bring to boil, add salt and throw your pasta in. Boil 2 minutes, less, than the package instruction time.

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2. In a large pan, add the olive oil and saute the sliced onion for a few minutes or until it starts to get golden color.

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3. Then add the bell pepper, the mushrooms, the Cajun seasoning, 1/2 cup water and the garlic.  Lower the heat to medium and cook the veggies for about 10 minutes or until they begin to cook down.

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4. Drain the pasta, and reserve some 1/2 cup of the boiling water.

5. Uncover the veggies and pour in the heavy cream. Use some of the boiling water to thin out your sauce.

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6. Add the pasta and let it simmer for 1-2 minutes, or until the sauce thickens and the pasta absorbs all the saucy goodness.

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7. Do not forget to salt in every stage of your cooking, or you will end up with flavorless pastaa!

 Serves 2-3

Enjoy!! 🙂

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” ― Thomas Jefferson

What do you want in life? Take your time! Close your eyes, and think! What do you really LIKE doing? Be honest with yourself! Search for something that will make you happy, not your parents, your grandparents, your friends, but YOU! Find something that will make you lose the sense of time! When you adore something you never think of when it will finish! You love it and the best reward for that is the best result! Do not fall into the trap of trying to mimic other people… If you do not know what you like, then start with what you THINK you like… If it does not work, then it wasn’t meant to happen… then, go to the next one, until you are happy! That’s all that matters!

Go do your brainstorming, now! I am not kidding… go do it! Okay, I am waiting… take your time and then come back here to read the rest…

 

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How was it? Did you come up with a plan? Listen, F-O-L-L-O-W I-T!!!!! DO IT! Nothing will bring you closer to how you want to be, other than you actually doing it! D-O-I-N-G!

Nothing will come by itself…. you are after your goals… you will create yourself! If do not act towards a goal, then your life will end up being shaped by the other! That is a FACT! Do you want that?

Plan – Think – Do – Happy!!!! It works!

Hugs, Mariana xx

Pastitsio(Greek Style Lasagna ) | Recipe Box

IMG_20160903_113938Now, you might ask, what is that? Pastitsio is similar to the Italian lasagna. The only differences are: Pastitiso is characterized by the distinct cinnamon spice in the meat sauce and the different layering. On the bottom of the tray there is a layer of cheese and pasta, in the middle there is a layer of meat sauce and on the bottom a layer of bechamel sauce!

Yeah, that’s right! Just like you imagine! Is very good and very bad for you! :p

 

Ingredients:

Meat sauce:

250g (1/2lb) ground pork

250g (1/2lb) ground beef sirloin

300g (2 cups) crushed tomato

2 onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 tsp cinnamon

2 bay leaves

2 Tbsp olive oil

100g (3/4 cup) feta cheese, crumbled

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Bechamel:

1 liter (4 cups) semi-skimmed milk

100g (little less than 1 stick) butter

100g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour

1 egg yolk

50g (1/3 cup) grated parmiggiano reggiano

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Salt, pepper, to taste

 

The remaining:

300g (2 1/3 cup) short cut pasta

50g (1/3 cup) grated parmiggiano reggiano

1 egg white

 

Instructions:

Meat sauce:
1. In a large saucepan, place the olive oil and brown the chopped onion, until soft and translucent. It will take about 5 minutes.

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2. In the meanwhile, boil your pasta! Cook it 2 minutes less, than the package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool down.

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3. Continue with the sauce, add the minced garlic and the ground meats. Break up the mince with a wooden spoon. Cook, until the meat start to develop colour.

4. Add the crushed tomatoes, the cinnamon, the bay leaves, the pepper and add ½ cup of water. Partially cover the pan, turn the heat down to medium low and cook for about 30 minutes. If all the water evaporates, then add another ½ cup.

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5. After the 30 minutes, the sauce should be thicker but not dry. Add the feta cheese, taste and then adjust with salt. Set aside.

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Bechamel Sauce:

6. In a large pot, place the butter to melt over medium heat.

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7. When the butter melts – be careful not to burn it – add the flour and stir until the flour is toasted. For 1 minute.

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8. Pour some milk in and whisk constantly. Once the milk is absorbed, add some more! Continue until the milk finishes; it will take 7-8 times… You have to be patient, and do it slowly, in batches, otherwise the bechamel will end up being lumpy.

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9. Continue stiring the sauce – you do not want it to stick to the bottom! Once you see big bubbles forming, remove the sauce from the heat.

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10. Add the cheese and the spices. When it cools down a little bit add the yolk, and stir very fast, so that it does not cook! Set aside.

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Assembling:

11. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius (375 Fahrenheit).
12. In a tray, add the egg white, the cheese and the pasta. Mix very well until the pasta is coated. Spread the pasta evenly on the bottom. Now, you might ask why the egg white… It helps the pasta stick together, so that when you cut a piece it does not fall apart!! Do not skip it. 🙂

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12. Continue with the meat sauce layer. Remove the bay leaves and spread evenly. Finally, top with the bechamel sauce.

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13. Bake for about 45′ minutes or until the top get nice colour.

 

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14. I know it is hard, but you have to let it sit for at least an hour before you cut into it, otherwise it will fall apart.

 

 

IMG_20160831_132203  Serves 6 – 8      

“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” ― Jimmy Johnson

befunky-design2What is that “little extra”? I was always wondering! It seems like a lot of work! Extraordinary – it has to be something mind-blowing- otherwise is ordinary! Right?

But if you really think about it, these words do not make sense! They do not mean anything – no definition as far as I understand. What is ordinary? What is extraordinary? They can have multiple interpretations…

For me, extraordinary are the little, everyday things, that excite you! That’s all! Life is beautiful every minute! It can be ordinary or extraordinary! It is your choice! Make the most out of everything and stop comparing yourself with other people.

Comparison is a trap! Why are you envy and chase other people’s lives? Focus on your own life, see how you can make the most of what YOU HAVE! 

Assess your premises and reach your conclusion! Do you want to have an “extraordinary” life? MAKE IT HAPPEN! DO whatever your heart desires, without thinking “oh, what people will say?” or “what my family will say?”. If your action does not hurt another person, then do it!

You are your own boss! Protect yourself! Manage yourself! Grow yourself!

These will bring you one step closer to that “extra”! Once you conquer your fears and stop the comparisons, then your life will be “extraordinary”!

 

“Grown ups are complicated creatures, full of quirks and secrets.” ― Roald Dahl

befunky-design3They are complicated! They are… They hide their emotions, their character, their opinion, in fear not to offend somebody, not to sound weird, not to be criticized.

Readers, they are afraid to be different and that is quirky all by itself! :p

It is funny because when I was a kid, I always wanted to be mysterious! I thought that this is cool! Because… you know… when you hide secrets, you immediately feel superior! It made me feel like a grown up! I thought adults were some type of alien; something interesting to discover! Well, now that I am technically an adult, I feel that there is nothing to explore – they are boring!

Am I an adult? Do I want to be one? I am confused! When I am with adults I feel like a 17 – year old, and when I am around teenagers I feel older… Am I dying! What is wrong with me?

I definitely overcome the perception of adulthood form child’s point of you. I mean, adulthood is more that being able to take the decision to go out, to drink a glass of martini, to be financially independent and to drive a car!

Adults…. adults… grown ups… Hmmm!

“Adulthood” – means sad human beings…. This is adulthood for me!Is it harsh? Does it make sense?

Well, I feel like most grown ups hate their lives – they dislike their job, they stuck in a routine, and even though, they have money, property and family, they are just “fine”. They are not truly satisfied with their lives… That is the problem!

I am afraid that I will end up like them, that’s why I am scared of  the adult responsibilities! Is that bad? How can I balance everything? I want to live in my cloud! Ok, it sounds like I am daydreaming, but all I am saying is that I do not want to lose my spontaneity, my desire to live, and my creativity. I do not want to drown in the societal adult roles! I feel the weigh on my shoulders! There is definitely pressure… How can I grow up, but not grow up?

I am not going to say I wish I was a child again, but I wish things were not as complicated, just like when I was a kid!

Do you think I search for something utopic? Do you think I am escaping life? That’s really a thing in my brain, and I want to get it out of my system!

Hugs, Mariana xx

Soft Choco White Chocolate Chip Cookies | Recipe Box

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Drool warning!

I spent all morning, trying to figure out the right way to make the best soft cookies! I am “soft-cookie team” and no shame about it! They are ooey gooey, perfect… I will never understand why people like crispy thin cookies… What is wrong with you? :p

I read articles after articles about the cookie science… after a thorough research I came up with this recipe… I am happy to say… Naaaailed it! 🙂

I made half the recipe, I am giving you below, because the whole recipe ain’t gonna be good for my hips!

They came out perfect – soft on the inside and crispy-ish on the outside!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, soft at room temperature

2/3 cup white sugar

2 medium eggs

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 1/3 cup All purpose flour

 

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven at 175 degrees Celsius (365 Fahrenheit). In a mixing bowl, cream the soft butter with the sugar for a few minutes.

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2. Stop the mixer, add the eggs, the baking powder, the vanilla and salt. Quick mix.

3. Bring the bowl close to you, add the chocolate chips, the cocoa powder and the flour. Mix with a spatula until the ingredients are well combined.

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4. Line a tray with a parchment paper and, with an ice cream scoop, scoop the cookies in the tray. Keep in mind that this recipe makes for 12 cookies. Do not forget to tap the cookies with your figure so that they spread a little bit. These are soft cookies – they won’t spread during baking all by themselves!

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5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cooked fully. Let them cool down and then transfer them on a wire rack.

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I am going to eat one more, now…. 🙂

Enjoyy!! 🙂

Breakfast Ideas (Pics)

There is no doubt that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! and dinner and lunch… I like food! Ok?!

Breakfast is the queen of all meals! I love waking up, getting ready and preparing it! Here are my breakfasts for this week! I hope you get inspired and, maybe, recreate some of them (Oh, i hope you make some of them! :)). If you do make any of them, please comment to let me know if you liked them/ it! 🙂

Monday, 10:30 a.m.
1AMonday morning breakfast!

See, it is Monday, and I am excited! I promise, is the breakfast that makes me happy! :p
I had two organic soft-boiled eggs, with a big slice of lightly buttered bread. The bread was the regular white bread! I know there are healthier options, but, hey, I really like the white one!

I also had a cup of americano (wanna-be cappuccino) with “frothed” semi-skimmed milk and a teaspoon of sugar.

 

Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.
2ASo this morning I had half a banana, a boiled egg and a big slice of lightly buttered bread, cut into four pieces. I also spread some peach jam on the two pieces because why not?

I had an americano coffee with a teaspoon of sugar, on the side! I gave up on that cappuccino!

Noooo, just kidding! I not gonna go down that easy… :p I will try again tomorrow!

 

Wednesday, 10:00 a.m.

3OK, this morning I had 1/2 cup of homemade muesli, 1/2 sliced banana, 1 cup of semi-skimmed milk and a cappuccino with a teaspoon of sugar. Oh, yeah! I also added some cinnamon in my muesli, because cinnamon is love. You can also find this breakfast on my What I eat in a Day.

Yeeees, the milk froth worked today! Oh yeah, oh yeah! :p

 

Thursday, 8:00 a.m.

4AGuess what? Yeap, “eggs and bread” is happening again! I love, LOVE, that breakfast and it keeps me full for long! So, I made it again.

It is similar to Monday’s breakfast! Soft-boiled eggs, lightly buttered bread, except this time there is an actual cappuccino!  I drizzled some caramel on top of my coffee because I was feeling fancy and wanted to decorate it! 🙂

Friday, 8:15 a.m.

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I woke up not feeling hungry today! 😮 I know, I was also surprised! so the breakfast was pretty simple!

A slice of bread with a tablespoon of peanut butter! Do not even ask! It is CRUNCHY! and a cappuccino – made the same way as yesterday and the day before! And a nectarine, cut in slices!

 

Saturday, 8:45 a.m.

6AToday is Saturday! You know I had to try something fancy and new! Yesterday, I searched all over pinterest to find something cool to introduce!

I decided to try the healthy banana pancakes! People go craaazy about them.

The “batter” is literally made with a banana and two eggs, blended until smooth. Very easy! I prepared the batter, cooked them, like regular pancakes and then drizzled honey all over them.

I am gonna be honest here! They are not bad, but they are not good either. They tasted like…. they tasted like banana flavoured omelette… with honey on top! And the texture was very omelettoy!

Yes, that on the side is my cappuccino, cappuccino, of course!

 

 

That is about it, readers! Oh God, I loved working on this post all week! It was fun!

Hugs, Mariana xx