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Oriental salad - Romanian version

Publié le par Charly C.

I haven't posted a recipe in a very long time, i believe. I think it's time I shared something - a salad this time! It's easy to make, pretty good for the upcoming holidays, delicious in my opinion, and is also vegan friendly! 

Well, ok, what I'll share is not vegan friendly because I used eggs, BUT keep the eggs out and you can safely enjoy it! If you're wondering why I had to specify this is a Romanian version of the salad, is because Google showed me a different type of salad when I searched for the name of this dish. 

I'm not exactly sure what's the story behind this salad, all I know is that it's pretty easy to make, and that it's never enough. 

Oriental salad - Romanian version

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kg potatoes
  • 200 g black olives (for color; use seedless ones)
  • 200 g pickles
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 eggs (you can skip them for a vegan salad)
  • aromatic herbs  - parsley (fresh or dry), dill (i skipped it)
  • some salt and ground black pepper
  • oil and vinegar

This is the list of ingredients for a basic salad I found on a Romanian website. I know some people add more stuff in this salad. One of the most common ingredients is sliced onion, but you must know we don't eat it. Other ingredients I noticed were shredded cabbage, raw cucumbers (along the pickled ones), and pickled beet, and the salad becomes a bit pinkish. 

Do not add any type of meat in this salad, because then you'll make something else. 

Oriental salad - Romanian versionOriental salad - Romanian version

METHOD

Start by peeling and dicing the potatoes. Then throw them in a pot with water, and place on medium heat. Don't forget to add some salt - I used some pink salt, not that it really matters, but we were curious. I boiled the potatoes for some 30 minutes, but I don't think I had 1 kg.

The next step is to slice or dice the rest of the ingredients, including the olives and eggs. Don't forget about the other ingredients you want to add. 

Next, when the potatoes are done, rinse them with some cold water, and mix them with the ingredients. Of course,don't forget to add oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and the herbs. 

Oriental salad - Romanian version

Look at those vibrant colors! This salad is eaten usually by itself or sometimes maybe with steak or chicken. There's no need for bread when eating this dish. You might need to eat other dishes before or after it to feel completely full. 

I hope you like it if you make it!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

 

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Roasting eggplant - vegan friendly!

Publié le par Charly C.

I have to post this, because for the first time I managed to roast eggplant in a way that worked, is healthy, and I actually enjoyed eating. Oh, and yea! It's vegan friendly

So i had these eggplants [aubergines] about to go bad. So wondered what to do with them. Roasting them sounded really good. Here is how I did it!

Roasting eggplant - vegan friendly!

Ingredients:

  • eggplants [as many as you like]
  • condiments [i used black pepper, basil, and thyme]
  • some salt
  • some cooking oil [unflavored is best]

I first washed and peeled the eggplants. Then I sliced them as evenly as i could - i'm really bad at this task. Their thickness was about 1cm - i didn't measure.

I realized that using a long-bladed knife helped a lot with this task. 

Roasting eggplant - vegan friendly!Roasting eggplant - vegan friendly!

I used the brush usually useful when baking, to lightly spread some oil on my baking pan. 

I realized that the baking pan is quite important - I had some non-stick types, but they burned by foods as they were too thin, and the non-stick coating peeled. 

The pan i used this time is thicker and rather shiny, but I can't tell what type it is, or what it's made of. All i know is that i can scrub it quite a lot and it won't peel. It's not really enamel either, or at least i don't think it is enamel. 

Roasting eggplant - vegan friendly!

After I sliced the eggplants, and after i had lightly oiled the pan, I placed as many slices of eggplant as i could in the pan. I then tried to smudge a bit of oil on each slice, and sprinkled with salt and the condiments, and then i put the pan in the preheated oven. 

I let the slices stay for some 25 to 30 minutes, and then i flipped them over. I proceeded to still let them cook for some 15-20 minutes. 

Unlike with the non-stick pans, the slices did NOT stick to this pan - they did stick to the non-stick ones when i tried the recipe before. I have no idea how it happened. All i know is that i got rid of the so called non-stick ones, but mostly because they started peeling.

Roasting eggplant - vegan friendly!

I cook with gas, hence fire, and this may be a reason for my previous attempts at roasting to turn into failures. Vegetables turned mushy, or burned. I guess this baking pan is specially made for cooking and roasting with gas. 

Bottom line is that if your roasts are not like the expectation, try to change your pan - it might just do the trick.

(c) Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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yummy zucchini patties

Publié le par Charly C.

So yesterday we received some zucchini and their season seems to have started. I'm not entirely sure about that. In any case, "A" really likes patties made of zucchini, and for good reason: they're pretty light, despite being fried, as there's no meat in them. They're also pretty good, if you have a good recipe. 

While there's no meat in the recipe, you need some eggs or some other agent that can successfully replace the eggs. The egg is meant to help the patty stay in one piece, to enhance the taste, and there was another reason i forgot. So this is not a vegan recipe, but a vegetarian one. 

Read below the pics for ingredients and instructions!

You'll also need a grater/shredder, 2 bigger bowls and a smaller one, perhaps a sieve as well. 

1 big zucchini and an extra random piece, a big carrot, some salt. make sure you have more zucchini than you have carrots, if their size are different.oh, and you guessed it: no weighing in this recipe.

1 big zucchini and an extra random piece, a big carrot, some salt. make sure you have more zucchini than you have carrots, if their size are different.oh, and you guessed it: no weighing in this recipe.

shred the zucchini and the carrot togethershred the zucchini and the carrot together

shred the zucchini and the carrot together

squeeze out the juice. I did this twice.

squeeze out the juice. I did this twice.

mix with the eggs, season with some salt, black pepper, other herbs you like and other flavorings. NO SUGAR! also add some flour. it should look similar to this.mix with the eggs, season with some salt, black pepper, other herbs you like and other flavorings. NO SUGAR! also add some flour. it should look similar to this.

mix with the eggs, season with some salt, black pepper, other herbs you like and other flavorings. NO SUGAR! also add some flour. it should look similar to this.

time to fry in a bit of oil [about a spoon?]. Make sure they're evenly done on both sides. you can put as much as you want in a patty, but make sure to flatten it.

time to fry in a bit of oil [about a spoon?]. Make sure they're evenly done on both sides. you can put as much as you want in a patty, but make sure to flatten it.

yummy zucchini patties

You can now enjoy! Best served cold. I had 15 patties in total, but I ate one before taking a picture of all of them. "A" said they were really good :)

Bon Appétit~~~~

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Bucharest adventures in April

Publié le par Charly C.

This entry was quite long in the making, for several reasons: my poor memories, recovering and editing the pictures, and actually writing everything, in between other stuff going on in our lives. Published a bit later than hoped, but not that late, and better than never at all ;)

Last week of March was when all the winter happened as the worst winter weather hit us. Luckily, as soon as April started, the weather also turned into spring. It never snowed again, after that. YAY!

Since the weather warmed up, we were able to go out more and have various adventures. 

these flowers appear later in the monththese flowers appear later in the month

these flowers appear later in the month

The month started off with the Easter celebrations in the Catholic world, but Romania is an Orthodox country so we had Easter on the 8th, 1 week later. 

During the first week of the month we were quite busy, and we couldn't wait for Easter to come so we'd relax a bit. Luckily, in Romania Easter Monday is a bank holiday so everyone stays home to relax and eat.

At 11 pm on Satuday we went to the church to to hear a bit of the mass and to bring home the "Light" - or a lit candle. All Romanians do this for good fortune in the "new year" [from an agricultural point of view]. 

Check out this video for a little insight into how the midnight mass goes. 

many people heading towards the same churchmany people heading towards the same church
many people heading towards the same churchmany people heading towards the same church

many people heading towards the same church

The next day, on Sunday Easter we were supposed to go to A's parents' house. And so we did. They moved out of city, but luckily the city bus takes us close to their new place. We had to walk from the bus stop to their house because the usual minibus driver doesn't work during major holidays like Easter. 

A small feast was waiting for us there - see the picture below. That's a cheesecake that replaces the traditional pasca which is a bit different both in looks and in how's made. 

The slices with boiled eggs in the middle are a special meat loaf made only for Easter, called drob

You also get to see a bit of the countryside, from A's parents' balcony, in the pic below.

Bucharest adventures in April
Bucharest adventures in April

Some time later, A's birthday came. That day we had to go with the older cat to the vet. He wouldn't eat and he would throw up if he did. The vet said it's just a gastritis, and gave him some shots and home treatment. 

Everyone praised Whiskey the cat for his prettiness and for being such a good boy. 

The next day, in the evening we decided to have a bit of fun. Or to try to relax a bit. So we went to see a movie - A Quiet Place. You probably already read my thoughts on the movie, and if not, by following the link you can do so now.

he was in my arms and trying to hide :)

he was in my arms and trying to hide :)

We also had to go search for a specific cat food, that we learned we can find at this rather new mall that opened not too far from us - some 6 tram stop away, and that's close. Check out this post about the public transportation in Bucharest.

There was an interesting place where they would only sell French fries. Of course we had to try them out. And I personally wasn't impressed - only 2 guys taking orders and serving people, so I had to wait some 30 minutes? The taste wasn't impressive either, but the fries were made on the spot which also added to the waiting time. 

And while I did say these were fries, they weren't thin like at McDonalds, but thick type, wedges. I also think they needed to be cooked for longer and maybe at lower temperature? 

In any case, we saw another location downtown, in the Old City Center area which is easier for us to get to. 

Bucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in April

One day A asked me for avocado on toast. So I made some. Not much to say there, but it's too small to make a separate entry on it. 

Toast the bread. Cut open the avocado, remove the pit. Slice it up or mash it and spread on the toast. Then serve.

I discovered avocado tastes better with a dash of salt on top. If you think this is weird, wait for my entry on the weird foods I sometimes eat and enjoy. 

Bucharest adventures in April

After some time, I decided to make some doughnuts. I decided to follow a Romanian recipe for "Little Lies" which I have to tweak. The recipe I had gave me some cookies or biscuits instead of donuts, which is probably why they're called "Little Lies" -in Romanian minciunele.

However, they were pretty sweet and worked well with tea and coffee, and there's that at least. 

I have this cat shaped cookie cutter and I decided to make some of them shaped like cats, because why not? I got the cookie cutter as a freebie from a box of margarine. It was meant to make cute looking sandwiches for your kids, but that's too much work for me. 

Once I find recipe that I like better, I'll share it. Till then, just a sneak peak at my Little Lies.

all dough-nuts should be covered in confectioner's sugar, if you ask me.
all dough-nuts should be covered in confectioner's sugar, if you ask me.

all dough-nuts should be covered in confectioner's sugar, if you ask me.

At some point we went to a cafe for the first time in ages. Or it felt like that to me. I think we had hot chocolate and tea? or something like that, I completely forgot.

Bucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in April

Some time after that, I decided to turn some old shirts I had into pillow cases. I like doing things myself the most - this makes me feel accomplished. 

The blog entry will appear in June, [which is awesome because I discovered some pictures I forgot to add] however the idea was born in April and was mostly performed in May. If you read this entry when it's published, the link won't work, but if you read it some time in June, out of curiosity, it will work. You can have a little sneak-peak below.

Of course, my oldest cat decided to help out.
Of course, my oldest cat decided to help out.Of course, my oldest cat decided to help out.

Of course, my oldest cat decided to help out.

We also had some work to do, and we still did go out after that. But nothing much happened, except for the adventure we had outside of the city, in search of an outlet. I'll let A talk about it, as it was her idea and i'll just add the pictures in.  

A month ago we decided to go to an outlet store that was suppose to be in an area we haven't visited before. However, we had no idea of how this trip was going to go. We sure didn't expect what was coming ~

First of all, we got in the bus and as we looked on the map, realized it was gonna take at least 22 long stops. 22!! We never really went that far. Beside that, the day was quite hot, it was a rush hour, and the bus was packed with people. So half way there i started feeling nauseous and like i had no air...many of the people in the bus seemed to have no problems as if they were used to it ~

An hour later (no joke) we finally got off the bus. It was pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and even tho we went to other malls that are somehow out of city, this one was different. The entire area didn't seem safe at all, there was a lot of shadiness. We crossed the street and started walking by these what seemed to be abandoned houses and trying to make sure no stray dogs were gonna bite our ass. It wasn't comfortable at all and i felt quite unsafe...after walking a while trying to gather all our courage we ended up crossing a street to get to a railway and in that moment, we started to think what the hell are we doing. The mall didn't see to be in sight, actually there was nothing like a mall in the area at all. That's when we decided to turn around and go back as we didn't want to end up being there at night. 

After more waiting for the bus, it finally arrived and we got in. But, since we were already out, we thought it would be a good idea to go to another mall that was located somewhere halfway through the trip. And so we did.

Well, this mall was a lot better. We got to rest a bit while exploring it. I was looking for some sport shoes and at the very least they had some options. When we got really tired we went outside to a cafe to sit and eat something. We had some fries and a burger that were not impressive. The burger was supposed not to have any onion, but i found a big layered slice of onion in it. At least it looked funny. 

At that point we just wanted to get back home but didn't know how. We started looking at tram schedules to see which one we need to take, and spent some 15 minutes waiting in a stop. Then we realized that might not be the right stop as the tram we were waiting for somehow turned into a different one with another route. Pretty discouraged we went back at the mall and after waiting some more and trying to figure things out, we called a taxi.

Luckily at least that was uneventful. The taxi came fast and took us home, where we finally arrived home, 6 hours after heading out in the first place. This trip gave me some interesting feelings ~

Bucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in April
Bucharest adventures in AprilBucharest adventures in April

First of all, i thought i knew the city pretty well so i didn't expect getting lost. I also thought its really hard to get lose and especially not be able to locate the transportation i need easily. Then there was the uncomfortable feeling of the area, which i didn't feel very often at all. Bucharest is generally a safe city with no problems, so i wonder where does that come from...
And the tiredness. I feel i'm becoming an old person since I got tired so fast. 

All in all this has been an interesting experience, but not one i am about to repeat anytime soon. The mall managers should definitely do a better job at explaining where its located so that shoppers don't put their hopes up in the first place....or maybe it was just a ghost mall that could never be found, o.o. Now that would be quite a twist....

Hopefully you didn't get too bored, if you managed to get to this point. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Making meatballs

Publié le par Charly C.

Actually, I was torn about posting this recipe. About 2 months ago or so I decided to give up meat from my diet. Or to eat as little of it as possible. I'm by no means a vegan, but I guess a vegetarian? I will occasionally eat meat, especially if it's given to me but I won't go out of my way to buy it. 

I have both ethical and religious reasons for this choice. However, I had the recipe in the making for quite some time now, and I wanted to post some fresh material. Pictures are old as well - 2015 old. 

hmm.. yea....

hmm.. yea....

I must say I love meatballs: fried meat, fat, flavor..? I mean, what's not to like, right? Sadly, I can't even eat minced meat, let alone fried stuff. 

Well, health related issues aside, today I want to tell you how you can prepare meatballs as well. Trust me: it's so easy, but you might have to make your hands dirty. I only dislike the frying process.

INGREDIENTS:

  • some 500 grams of minced pork meat. You can use pork and beef, chicken, or almost any type of meat I suppose.
  • 1 egg [2 if you have almost 1 kg /2 lbs of meat]
  • salt, pepper
  • some all purpose flour

METHOD:

mix everything together, until it looks similar to thismix everything together, until it looks similar to this

mix everything together, until it looks similar to this

Take small amounts, turn into balls or random shapes, and fry on both sides until they become brown

Take small amounts, turn into balls or random shapes, and fry on both sides until they become brown

they should look similar to this.

they should look similar to this.

Make sure there is no pink left on the inside of the meatball. You can do this by making it more flat - which is what I do, or by splitting one open to check the color change. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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raw carrot salad - vegan friendly

Publié le par Charly C.

raw carrot salad - vegan friendlyraw carrot salad - vegan friendly

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 or 2 large carrots, or maybe 2 to 4 smaller ones
  • some vinegar
  • some salt
  • some oil – the default cooking oil here is made from sunflower seeds. I remember using olive oil once, but it was too heavy and the taste was not the one I was used to.

For instructions, read below the images. ;) 

I used a pretty big carrot.

I used a pretty big carrot.

peel and wash the carrot(s)

peel and wash the carrot(s)

Shred the carrots. Julienne works nicely too.Shred the carrots. Julienne works nicely too.

Shred the carrots. Julienne works nicely too.

season with salt, add oil, add vinegar, in no particular order, and mix.season with salt, add oil, add vinegar, in no particular order, and mix.season with salt, add oil, add vinegar, in no particular order, and mix.

season with salt, add oil, add vinegar, in no particular order, and mix.

NOTES

  • You can add a green (or more sour) apple as well.
  • You can also add shredded raw white cabbage.
  • You can use mayonnaise instead of salt, oil, and vinegar. [not vegan anymore, and heavier]
  • I don’t think the apple and mayonnaise go well together, but you can try if you are that curious.

This salad is perfect throughout the year. I can’t say I like it more plain than I like it with mayonnaise, but the one with apples is my least favorite. I usually feel bloated after having this one. It tastes pretty nice by itself.

Bon Apetit~~

in between stages.

in between stages.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not vegan, but this doesn't mean I eat meat all the time. Yes, I used the tag [hoping] for more exposure, but I think it's connected or relevant. 

This salad can be enjoyed by those who follow a vegan diet or lifestyle as well. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

 

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End of the year updates and a recipe

Publié le par Charly C.

Wow, hello to whoever checks this out!

What are my updates? Firstly I hope my "cooking block" will stop and that I'll be able to share more stuff here. Well I do have a few recipes to share, and I can't wait to do so because I feel some of you did wonder if I'll ever post anything here or not.

Another update is that now I have an online identity, as you can see - points to the "author's name" and I hope that one day [in the next 5 years?] I will have a book published under this name.

It's a pen-name but I feel it represents me well [I feel no connection to my ID name, sorry parents]. The book I want to publish will be a collection of short stories - horror and fictional? is that what they're called? - that I'm yet to write. :P

not my picture :(

not my picture :(

I think you want the recipe more than anything, right? I wish there was a spoiler function for the other part.

marble poundcake with poppy seeds

End of the year updates and a recipe

This recipe is rather good for Christmas [or New Years] dinner [or lunch], so it came just in time. I have to warn you that I didn't follow any recipe this time, so you can refer to this one for specific instructions and more pictures.

I will however tell you the [approximate] quantities:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 full table spoons of yoghurt [I used one with 1.5% fat content. Can be replaced with any fat percentage yoghurt, and even better, sour milk. ;) ]
  • 300 grams sugar [measured]
  • regular cooking oil [1 table spoon? I didn't measure it]
  • 10 grams of baking powder [most of baking powder in Romania comes in packets of 10 grams]
  • some orange essence [just because I didn't have vanilla essence. I didn't measure how much I used]
  • all purpose flour [not measured; enough to give the right consistency to the dough]
  • poppy seeds [I didn't measure, maybe 10 grams? a teaspoon? It's a very popular ingredient in Romania.]
  • cocoa powder, unsweetened [maybe 2 teaspoons?]
METHOD:

Preheat the oven. This is a step you can't skip, especially when cooking with gas.

This time, unlike other times, I just poured everything together in the bowl - except the flour, cocoa, and the poppy seeds. I mixed for some 20 seconds. I looked at the hour on my wrist watch for this one. ;)

Then I added in the poppy and the flour and mixed well. I prepared my round tray - maybe some 25 cm in diameter? and poured most of the dough in it. I saved maybe some 4 or 5 spoons in the bowl and added the cocoa powder.

End of the year updates and a recipe

I added the cocoa dough on top, trying to make some design - but you can't really see it since I didn't take pictures this time. I baked the cake for 45 minutes - 35 to 40 minutes would have been enough, but last times it was still underbaked [undocumented times] and I didn't want that to happen again.

When it finished baking, I just covered it in vanilla sugar and sliced it as you can see.When it finished baking, I just covered it in vanilla sugar and sliced it as you can see.When it finished baking, I just covered it in vanilla sugar and sliced it as you can see.

When it finished baking, I just covered it in vanilla sugar and sliced it as you can see.

I had my first try this morning, and I was pleasantly surprised and inspired to write this entry. YAY!

The coffee is from Japan, from the brand AGF Blendy. I have a Japanese friend and he kindly send me some Japanese coffee. I can barely read some hiragana and katakana... And although I started to learn some Chinese, it's definitely NOT enough to read the instructions. LOL

End of the year updates and a recipe

What can I say? This coffee was more bitter than life but really good :) The sachet in the cup was packed in the envelope I'm holding, and it smelled really good when I opened it. I added milk [off camera] to be able to drink it and also be sure I won't get shaky.

End of the year updates and a recipe

I hope you'll be able to try this recipe out.

I wish you Happy Holidays and lots of health in the upcoming year!

© Charly Cross 2013 – present. all rights reserved.

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Adventures in July

Publié le par Charly Cross

I actually wanted to have such an entry almost every month, but this wasn't really possible, especially if I had something else to say, or if I didn't have enough time.

Unlike July 2016, this one was quite full. I had a pretty big task to write at the beginning of the month, and then 2 smaller ones. Well, this is not really something you might really be interested in, so, no pics to show off.

I also managed to stick more to a posting schedule, all thanks to my bullet journal. If it looks messy, it's because I have yet to discover a journaling method that works for me. Or that looks less messy. An if you think this is not a proper bullet journal notebook, you're right: it is an agenda used as a daily planner with no monthly spreads, with dedicated pages for each day, so on. It might serve better as  a diary, if you were to write every day, a single page. I use the date written on the page, as page-number.

I was a beginner at bullet journaling. still am.
I was a beginner at bullet journaling. still am.

I was a beginner at bullet journaling. still am.

What stood out the most, was Ciel my pet crow being more active, coming to me to play, and all that jazz. I was really scared that he might be depressed, but I guess he's not. His favorite things to play with are items that are long and thin - line pens, pencils, drinking straws. He likes to play with pens so much, he learned where I keep them and goes to them to steal them. It's actually quite hilarious!

He knows which pens I don't want him to play with, and those are the ones he wants the most. Of course! Last night, when we returned from a stroll in the park, I found ALL the pens missing from their place, a bird dancing on the table, and the floor covered in pens. That was quite something to clean, HAHA!

This video is from the first day he started playing so much.  I thought he's hilarious! He would keep on coming back for more pens! And, yes, I have several looking identical, for no good reason.

We also went out to have ice cream. And we did it as often as we could. What you need to know is that we found a few places selling really good ice cream. For instance, Ana Baking has one of the best salted caramel ice creams! Guys! You HAVE to go there if you ever visit Romania. Just don't order coffee or coffee based drinks: our tasted like something nasty, and we won't get that again.

Adventures in July

Another awesome ice-cream we had was at this place called Caffeol. The ice cream came in a cone, dipped in a milkshake! We ordered the coconut flavor one which was inspired by the Raffaello bonbons. It even had one bonbon on top! Guys! One such drink is more than enough for 2 people! Sadly, if you want to order soy milk in your drink, you have to pay more :(

up close: Raffaello Maddness. picture by @calinescu_alexandru on instagram.

up close: Raffaello Maddness. picture by @calinescu_alexandru on instagram.

This place also sells some lemonades: some 5 flavors? there is classic lemonade, lemonade with melon, with strawberry, and I forgot what else. I managed to order a melon lemonade without lemon [say that 3 times fast!] and it tasted so good! It basically contains melon or strawberry, orange and lemon, so you can give up the lemon or orange if you really want. My partner has a sensitive stomach and citrus fruits, especially lemons are REALLY bad for their stomach.

that's one of their lemonades and a Snickers Maddness frappe. pic by @foodofromania on instagram

that's one of their lemonades and a Snickers Maddness frappe. pic by @foodofromania on instagram

Sadly I lost my pictures of the drinks, so I had to search them up. Caffeol has 3 locations: one in the Historical Center of Bucharest - where we went, one in Brasov and another one in Ploiesti. Check them out if you visit Romania!

We wanted to go to the pool, however we didn't manage to get around to it. Hopefully, this month, we will go there. The thing is, we have a couple water parks, and lake sides where we could go to swim or relax, however it is not safe to go there, health-wise. Those waters are not as monitored, and since so many people go there, the waters are more likely to be contaminated with all sorts of bacteria and viruses. Going to a pool club of sorts, is more fancy and safe as far as your health goes. Here are a couple of pictures from 2 years ago.

Adventures in July

This is actually a health center with a gym, sauna, swimming pool, and there is a restaurant as well. The place is located by a lake, but the pool is covered and not connected to the lake. It's really quiet and peaceful. Too bad the entrance fee is rather high in local currency.

This month also marked the first time I wrote something in Chinese, all by myself. I'm so proud of myself: I started studying Mandarin last year, but I was never consistent about it. However I do have something to show for it. Maybe I will post a separate entry with all the characters I DO know. Until then, this is what I wrote:

Adventures in July

 In all fairness, the "nice to meet you" line [the one before the short break] I wrote by looking it up and I have yet to learn how to say it without looking at the pronunciation. I can post a comment with the reading and translation if you want, just say so below ;)

There is one more thing that happened, right on the last day of July, but please stay tuned for that one, as I have a vlog about it. I will post it separately because this already became too long, and I need to write a few more explanations for the vlog.

Until next Sunday~~


(c) Charly Cross 2013 – present. all rights reserved.

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Poundcake with oranges

Publié le par Charly C.

My friend had this recipe for a cake made with natural orange juice and orange slices on top. The recipe is in Romanian, and I will try my best to translate it for you. Because you should try it the next time you want something different.

The recipe was recently found at the bottom of a drawer - it was being kept VERY safe as you can tell [aka we had no idea where it was]. I was cleaning that closet and the recipe resurfaced. yay! I don't have much to say at this point, so let's see what this cake is all about!

Poundcake with oranges

INGREDIENTS

 For the batter:

  • 175 grams [real] butter
  • 175 grams [caster] sugar
  • 2 eggs [beaten]
  • 225 grams all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 oranges [peel and juice] - see below
Poundcake with orangesPoundcake with oranges
  • 175 grams almonds [grounded] - I substituted with some almond essence
  • a pinch of salt

For the syrup:

  • 9 oranges
  • 100 grams [caster] sugar
  • 150 ml water

METHOD

Making the batter:

[disclaimer] the recipe said to mix all the ingredients at once. i didn't do that, because i know the consistency differs depending on how you mix them. so i will tell you how i mixed my ingredients. please use a mixer, and not a hand beater like i did [the cake turned out fine, just look at the pictures, but i don't think the ingredients ere mixed as they should have been.

1. Preheat the oven, prepare your baking tray, and make sure to have your butter at room temperature - it ill work faster this way.

2. Beat your butter and sugar together until you have a creamy looking mixture. My hand beater didn't manage to get the right consistency, luckily this didn't matter much in the end.

3. Add your beaten eggs, salt, baking powder, and orange juice and mix. Mine looked like this:

Poundcake with oranges

4. Add your flour, orange peel, and almonds and mix. This is what I had in my bowl at the end:

Poundcake with orangesPoundcake with oranges

5. Throw in the oven on medium heat till it's well done. Mine took about 40 minutes. I use a gas stove and oven, and this means I cook and bake with fire. I have 8 heat settings, from 1 [lowest] to 8 [highest] - I can make pizza on settings 6 to 7. I usually cook [in the oven] using the setting 3 or 2, even 1 - I feel the heat is too strong at 3. I baked this cake at setting 2.

Making the syrup!

1. Use a small pot. Place the sugar, water and the juice from 6 oranges in it, and on a small fire [low heat].

2. Mix until the sugar dissolves.

Poundcake with oranges

3. Leave it on the fire for 10-15 min, WITHOUT stirring. When it's done, you'll have less juice [syrup] left in the pot.

Assembling!
  • Peel your remaining 3 oranges and slice them.
  • Place your cake on something to cool down, for some 10 min. [I left mine in the tray, you'll see why]
  • Take a fork and pierce the surface of the cake a few times, in different places.
  • Pour your syrup over the cake [if the cake is in the tray, this step is less messy]
  • Place your orange slices on top of the cake.
Now, you can devour it! :DNow, you can devour it! :DNow, you can devour it! :D

Now, you can devour it! :D

Check out this close up!

Check out this close up!

My friend can testify this was moist, flavored, and out of ordinary delicious! Much better than any other cake I baked before. I must admit, this time I too liked the texture - I'm picky in this regard.

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Cold zucchini stew for hot summer days

Publié le par Charly C.

Or for cold winter days, depending on how you serve it, of course. If you want it hot, it's ideal in winter, and if you want it cold, have it in summer!

Be warned that in winter zucchini is more expensive, since it's in season in summer.

Cold zucchini stew for hot summer days

Yesterday I received these beautiful zucchini, and I decided to cook them. I really like zucchini food, more than any other way of preparing zucchini. These are brought from the countryside and are grown in a bio way, as people here don't like tasteless food ingredients.

The recipe is super easy and you don't need many things at all. Additionally, many other recipes follow a similar pattern, so if you know one recipe, you can make several types of foods.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium sized zucchini
young and pretty zucchini

young and pretty zucchini

  • some salt - about a teaspoon
  • some oil - 2 or 3 table spoons?
  • some condiments - I used black pepper
  • some tomato sauce
  • some all purpose flour

METHOD

  • Pour the oil in a pot and turn on the fire or heat.
  • Dice the zucchini and drop them in the pot.
Cold zucchini stew for hot summer days
  • Sprinkle with salt and set to cook with a lid covering them.
  • Mix from time to time with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • You have about an hour till they're done cooking.
  • At the end, you will want to sprinkle your condiments, add the tomato sauce, and some all purpose flour if you find it the food liquid.
  • You might want to continue cooking for some 10 minutes more at this point, or turn off the heat and let it sit covered for the same amount of time.
  • Serve in a dish, either hot or cold, however you prefer!
bon appetit!

bon appetit!

NOTES

  • You can cook this with chopped onion if you like. You'll have to saute the onion a little before adding the zucchini. Some people say it tastes better, but I disagree.
  • You don't need to add any water to this food because the zucchini will provide plenty.

I hope you'll like it if you decide to try it out!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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