Jamie’s beef stroganoff

Or else beef with mushrooms. This is a simple and light version of beef stroganoff. I’ve never tried the traditional recipe and this is a good reason to make it one day, because I really liked this one.

jamies-beef-stroganoff You can find the recipe here!

Jamie’s version of beef stroganoff comes with an onion and cucumber pickle, which was one of my favorite parts of the dish. It’s so simple to make your own pickles at home in just few minutes, that I can’t justify buying them from the supermarket.

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When I made this recipe it was one of the first times I used my new pan that I fell in love with. Before I couldn’t understand how important it is to have proper cooking utensils, but it makes a world of a difference. Last year I also bought a dutch oven (not a Le Creuset one, mind you) and I fell in love with that one as well. I’ve been slowly replacing all my old and broken cooking utensils with new and top-notch ones and it feels great. If only I had a bigger kitchen to have a place to store everything I want to buy.

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So, the new pan made such a difference in cooking the beef. That beef was so moist and so perfectly cooked. I can’t wait to try cooking an entrecote one day. Can you tell we’re not big fans of red meat in my house?

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There’s not much more to say about the recipe itself. It’s simple and quick, nothing new or elaborate. It made me curious to try a real beef stroganoff, so that’s on the big list of things I want to cook one day now. Would I make this again? Yes, unless I like the original thing more, wink.

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Have you ever had beef stroganoff?

A walk in Nancy

August is here and I’m finally done editing all the photos from all the places I went to this spring. I know it’s been so long since, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy the photos anyway. Today, we’ll begin with Nancy…

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The good thing about road trips is that you get to see many different places in a very short amount of time. They’re packed with all sorts of interesting sights among the thousands of kilometers that you might have to drive. One night we slept in Nancy, a lovely city full of students. We didn’t have so much free time to walk in the city and the weather was so cold and so rainy, but we saw the center of the city, met some locals and enjoyed a cup of vanilla tea. Oh, yes, and some macarons. Because here’s a nice info you might be interested in, Nancy is the place where macarons originate from. The ones we bought were the real deal. Truly delicious!

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Beauty summer essentials 2015

From time to time, I like to post about the beauty and make-up products I’m currently using. If anything, I can look back at my own posts and figure what I used to love a year back. I’ve done this before with this travel beauty post, but I’ve since grown my make up and skin care collection and learned a few new techniques. I plan to downsize my make-up and skin care in the future and keep only what I consider essential, but until then, here’s what I’ve been enjoying this summer.

Sun protection

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Every summer I get obsessed with sun protection. I hate getting burned and I hate going out when the sun is strong, around mid-day, but it’s impossible to stay out of the sun for the whole summer, so that’s why I trust my SPFs. I use Eau Thermale Avène Very High Protection Emulsion SPF50+ 50ml for my face and Eau Thermale Avène Very High Protection Spray SPF50+ 200ml for my body, both at the beach and when I’m out and about or when I go for a run (in Norway and in Greece). I’ve been using all sorts of different products through the years, but Avene is perfect for sensitive skin (believe it or not, heavy sunscreens can give you chemical burns or provoke an allergic reaction) so the search is over.

Skin care, hair etc.

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Hair

I have a million products for my hair at home, but this summer I only keep one thing in my summer bag: Crème de Jour Disciplinante by L’Occitane. During Greek summers, I tend to leave my hair on their own, no blow-dry, not too much styling. I have thin, curly hair that tends to look like I came out of the jungle, so I use this creme to give some definition to my curls. It doesn’t hurt that it’s silicone free. As fas as shampoo and conditioner goes, I have a million samples of Aromachologie Repairing Shampoo and Aromachologie Repairing Conditioner, both by L’Occitane. In the summer I tend to wash my hair every day, at least on the days that I go to the beach, so having a mild rehydrating shampoo makes a world of a difference.

Face

I don’t know much about skin care. Luckily, I’ve been blessed with normal skin, that doesn’t need much. I don’t have any specific routine for the summer. For years and years, I’ve been using Eau Thermale Avène Hydrance Optimale Rich during winter months when my skin is dryer and switching it up with Eau Thermale Avène Hydrance Optimale Light for the summer. This summer I decided to try the version with SPF for the mornings and I’m very happy with it. This is my go-to cream for the past 5 years. I was using a cream for acneic skin before, but in the end it gave me some chemical burns on my cheekbones (not fun) and shifted to this one to relieve the symptoms. I’ve been trusting it ever since and my skin looks better than ever. For my eyes, I’ve been using Nutriganics Smoothing Eye Cream by The Body Shop. I haven’t noticed any huge difference between the days I use it and the days I don’t, so I’ll probably switch to one from Avene’s range when the tube is empty. I’ve heard good reviews about this one from Body Shop though and I might give it a this winter, on top of my regular cream.

When I am at home, I’ve been using mainly extra virgin coconut oil to take off my make-up. I only need one or two cotton disks slightly wet with water and then dipped into coconut oil. It is by far the best make-up remover I’ve ever used in my life, the cheapest and the only one that doesn’t irritate my skin. It has changed the way I see make-up. However, I haven’t found a nice way to travel with it. So when it comes to traveling, I prefer bi-phase cleansing lotions. Even though they’re meant to be for the eyes and lips, I use them in my whole face. The one I’m currently using is by a Greek (probably) company, Erre Due.

Nails

My all time favorite summer nail polish is Too too hot by Essie. You might have seen me sporting in all year-long as well, as it is my favorite coral-red and the only red that I have. I just love it. To protect my nails from getting stained, I use a base coat by Korres, the best one I’ve ever used (way better than any Essie one I’ve tried and cheaper). I keep both of them in my travel bag to touch up my nails, as they’re nothing worse than red chipped nails. To give myself a perfect manicure on the go, I keep a nail polish corrector pen and some nail polish remover on hand. I just dip the end of the pen in the remover (even though the pen itself is empty). For the summer I don’t use any top coat, because it tends to take so long to dry that I end up messing my nails. Impeccable manicure in 5 minutes!

Perfume

In Athens, you can find all sorts of perfume dupes for different price ranges. I bought my first bottle last year and haven’t looked back since. Especially, after breaking two very expensive bottles of perfume last year, I decided it’s not worth it. I can by the 8 euro bottle, keep it for few months, use it guiltlessly and replace it with a new one next time I’m back to Greece. I also impulse bought the perfect eau de toilette, Belle de Nuit by Fragonard, during my trip in Paris, in March. The bottle contains 200ml of perfume, so I couldn’t risk carrying it from one side of Europe to the other, so I bought a very cute Travalo that is extremely lightweight and has no chance of leaking in my bag.

What are your favorite products this summer?

ps. I’ll be back with my make-up favorites next week!

10 things that make me happy: 07│15

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Image source

My month of absence from the blog is over and I am finally back, with fully charged batteries. I spent most part of my July working in Trondheim and somewhere near the end, I started my summer vacations in Greece. I am currently enjoying myself in Serifos, getting pampered and eating the best homemade food that I don’t cook myself, a small luxury. July was an eventful month, both for my country and me. At the beginning of the month, I was stuck in front of my laptop reading the news. Then my brother came for a visit in Trondheim and I had so much fun showing him around.

As fas as August goes, I decided to do a strong come-back. I’ll be blogging every day for the rest of the month, both weekdays and weekends. I’ve made a huge progress in cooking through the cookbook and I can’t wait to catch up on that on the blog. I’ll also post the rest of the photos from my recent and not so recent travels. And to spice things up, I’ll post some fresh content as well. I hope I’ll make it. Meanwhile, here’s what made me happy this month.

– Have my brother visit me in Trondheim

– The smell of Jasmine in the front yard

– Lay on the sea with my eyes closed

– Do absolutely nothing at all in Serifos

– A full moon that rises from the sea

– Pack all my summer dresses for my vacations in Greece

This Greek song about football

– Soft curls (I just bought this and I am so happy with it!)

– My small redesign of the blog

– Sunbathe by the river the only day the weather was warm enough in Trondheim

What was the highlight of your month? Any small happy moments?

10 things that make me happy: 06│15

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Dress: GAP, Shoes: & Other Stories, Lips: Always Red by Sephora

June found me in Toronto having the time of my life with my best friend. Later, I spent my birthday in Berlin with someone special to me. All in all, this month had some highs and some lows. These days I am a year older and maybe wiser. The weather in Trondheim is moslty fallish with lots of rain and the occasional warm sunny day and that’s somewhat depressing considering it’s summer. The latest political developments in Greece left me with a feeling of uncertainty. As I am to far away to do anything or even be in the situation, I am left outside reading the newspapers, following the news and discussing. In other news, I’ve decided to take July off of the blog and away from social media. I need some time to be creative and unplugg. I’ll be back in August with a fresh look on the blog, a recap of what happened in July and a huge motivation for blogging. Meanwhile, here are the ten things that made me happy in June!

– Plan my summer vacations

– Bbq parties by the lake

– Let my hair natural (so curly!)

This track and this track

– The trip to Berlin for my birthday

– Homemade manicure in funky colors

– The fact that I gained access to the cappuccino and chocolate machine at work

– Bake a lemon cake (recipe here) and a carrot cake

– Plan fun short trips in Norway for my brother who is visiting later this summer

– Skype group calls

How was your June?

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Have a great month and see you in August!

Jamie’s poached fish

One question I get all the time by my friends is whether Jamie’s recipes are actually feasible in 15 minutes. As I’ve said before, maybe they are for Jamie, but for me definitely not. I like to clean as I cook, so that I don’t have a big hot mess when I’m done cooking. I like to cut my ingredients on my own instead of using a food processor (because I don’t own a proper one). And sometimes, I like to sip some wine, put on my favorite Jazz tracks and dance a little bit in the kitchen. Jamie doesn’t do any of that and that’s fine. He has a crew cleaning after him, a great food processor and he’s there to cook, not to drink. So no, they’re not 15 minute recipes. They’re more like 30 minute recipes for me, but that’s OK. I’ll still cook through this cookbook and I keep loving it.

This week’s recipe is a poached fish that I cooked some time ago. I like how convenient they are and how easy it is to plan my weekly meals with them. Some weeks I can make up to four recipes from his books and other weeks I’m just too busy to explore new recipes and stick to my old staples. So, poached fish…

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This was my first time poaching fish and I loved it. It is a very convenient way to cook fish. I’ve since found another nice way to poach fish in my french cookbook and I’m sold. Poached fish is my second favorite way of cooking fish, a close second to grilling it in an outdoor grill.

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Another crucial component of this dish were the eggs. Four perfectly oven-baked eggs with truffle oil, parma ham and parmesan cheese. I am no stranger to baking eggs in the over. It’s the easiest dinner ever for the days I’m starving and my pantry is empty.

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Truffle oil elevates this dish. Truffle oil is one of these ingredients that I had for a long time but was scared to use. I just didn’t want it to go to waste, so I didn’t use it at all. Now I am very happy I’ve found a way. Fancy ingredients can be intimidating some times.

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This dish couldn’t be complete without the tomato bread. Add few dried tomatoes, some garlic, balsamic vinegar and fresh timian (well in my case dried one) to a bread slice, bake for a few minutes and you’ll have a great appetizer or a delicious bread to accompany your dinner. I didn’t take Jamie’s approach and didn’t use a whole loaf of bread, because we’re not huge bread fans in my house. Although we could become, if we used this recipe.

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I left asparagus and spinach soup for the end. I love asparagus and eat it whenever it is possible and this recipe is one of my favorite ones for this reason. Now I have another way to eat asparagus in my repertoire.

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All in all, this recipe was a keeper. I loved how healthy and delicious it is at the same time. Will I make it again? Oh, yes!

Have you tried poaching fish?

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