Sunday, 20 April 2014

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

a proper tourist


A proper tourist is: always up for a good story, holding his/her camera proudly at all times, in love w/ city maps, enjoying the menu of the day, using the tripadvisor app more than 5 times a day, carrying around in his/her backpack at least 2 homemade sandwiches and some fruit, always walking around in messy hair no matter what.
Here are some pictures from my day trip in beautiful Gent, Belgium... loved this magnificent little city.

Monday, 24 March 2014

ανοιξιατικο μωβ ηλιοβασιλεμα

purple sunset in Hasselt, Belgium

Hello Monday

lunch at home... starting to take care of my everyday diet. second submission on #100happydays project

la primavera

all images taken from pinterest

I love spring time...Its is absolutely my favorite time of the year. The sun shines bright on the sky, people hanging out in beautiful parks,reading, drinking fresh lemonade, enjoying the first ice cream of the year....

Started my #100happydays project and I am feeling really excited... can't wait to share the pictures of my week here!

Sunday, 23 March 2014

the 100 Happy Days project

hello friends,
recently I found out about a wonderful little project idea by the name 100 Happy Days. The concept is easy, you just submit a picture of something that made your day happy and then share it with the world in any social media you like for 100 days.
Everyday life can be so stressful that sometimes you may forget to appreciate the little things that can make you happy and lift you up. Moving in Belgium for four months has been really difficult for me and I had days that I could not simply get out of bed. So, this is my little challenge for the next 100 days. I will be posting my pictures on instagram, you can check them out in #mikrotartaki

The real fun part of this challenge is that by the end of the project you can get a book with all the 100 happy moments that you have posted, so yey for that! Can't wait to commit to a real challenge and start to appreciate the little things in life!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Spring in Atwerpen, Belgium

Visiting Antwerp last week was one of the most rejuvenating trips I have ever done since I came here... Spring came early in the North of Europe and I am really enjoying it, already.
We had to visit a school and then we had the rest of the day off, wandering around the city in spring dresses and floral perfumes...
Dageraad Plats
Antwerp Central Train Station
Antwerp is a beautiful city located in the North of Belgium. It is a city that can easily be discovered on foot, or by using  the public transportation. With one of the most beautiful train stations I have ever seen, Antwerp can easily become one of the coolest places you can visit. There are several beautiful and exciting neighborhoods you can discover while enjoying the spring sun....

Right about when you start feeling a bit hungry (mmm..like always) you can have a walk around the Dagerdaad Plats and have a bowl of warm mustard soup with sausage and bacon (served with fresh whole wheat bread and some butter, yum!) @Zeezicht for only 3,50 euros (wow!) Soak up all the sun you can get with the locals, especially if you are there during a Wednesday aftrenoon. Schools end at 12.00 and everyone is having picnics and fun at the square!
Dageraad Plats

How could anyone forget about Forever 21?
Have a look around at the city centre...Walk around Meir Str. and discover the little treasures Antwerp has to offer... Urban Outfiters, Sissy Boy, Forever 21, Dille & Kamille, LUSH and so many more...

Been there done that: Having done my little research I recommend some places you can visit for some sweets and coffee, essentials for any successful trip:

#1 "Normo" : Located in the heart of the city, is one of the favorite spots for Art students, one street away from the Academy of Fine Arts. Here you can relax and have a cup of the best coffee in town.. "focus on burning their own coffee beans (the machines for doing that are in the bar and look great) and the genuine coffee experience… Talk to the owner, he will explain his plans to you, and feel his passion and joy for making great coffee." 

#2 "Starfish and Coffee" You should definitely try the creamy ginger tea along with some of the freshly baked goods this coffee place offers... Snuggle up in the cosy sofas while enjoying your tea and treats...Book friendly environment!

#3 "Vinyl & Coffee" For the devoted fans of vinyls and good coffee, this is the place you should visit when in  Antwerp. They offer a wide selection of LP’s and singles, old and new. The drinks have funny and musical names like Flat Barry White, Sun Ra, Creamy Jay Hawkins… have a cup of hot chocolate in a little corner, after you browsed for some great vinyls.

If on the other hand you fancy libraries, this one, is right for you! Nottebohm Library- The Hidden Library. The best spot to be in a rainy afternoon...Check out the website for more info about opening hours.
You can also check out this page for more information and travel tips about Antwerp.

                                                                                                                                                                      -all pictures taken by me-



Living in Belgium

As some of you may already know, almost two months ago, I left the warmth of my fluffy duvet and my double bed, gave up all my kitchen tools and baking tins, had to pick only a few of my clothes and leave other, favorite ones behind, said goodbye to friends, family and my loving boyfriend and got on the plane for Belgium. I am studying in the Erasmus Program, in a little city called Hasselt, in Belgium, not far from The Netherlands.

I am not gonna lie and say that everything has been butter on toast since I've been here. Living in a small dorm room, having to share everything while building up a whole new life from scratch has been a real challenge for me. Although feeling like a fish out of the water, I got myself together and created a new reality, with new people and new places. This experience is like a relationship; you have good times and bad times. The thing is that you always have to find a little way to pull yourself together and wipe those tears away from your face, because tomorrow is always a new day.

During my stay in Belgium, I had the opportunity to visit some wonderful places like Maastricht, Liege, Brussels, Antwerp and Utrecht. I really love the fact that I'm so close to so many beautiful cities and I can hop on the train whenever I feel like it and go somewhere new, in less than two hours!

I am planing to visit so many more places until I return home... If only I had the free time to travel on weekdays as well. School is really stressful and requires everyday attendance and work, so travelling is not so much on the program and that is a real pity.

Here is a little taste of the things I have seen so far...
Brussels
Brussels
vinyl shop-Brussels
Brussels
So cold weather in Hasselt
Brussels
Taart in Maastricht
Maastricht
Shanti Beans in Hasselt
Taart cafe in Maastricht 
Grand Place in Brussels

                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                         All photos taken by me

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The glorious Carrot Cake recipe


Although I am not really a fun of walnuts I absolutely adore them in this carrot cake! I made this three layer cake in order to say goodbye to all my good friends, since I am leaving next Saturday for 4 months for Erasmus studies in Belgium! Get ready for lots of treats and tours all around Europe in the next few months!

This carrot cake is moist and full of flavor... You can vary how finely you chop the nuts for the sponge, depending on your preference.I chopped them finely in this recipe. Just don't forget to make enough frosting to cover the sides of the cake and not only the layers,as I did!
original recipe, from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

Enjoy!

For the sponge:
250 gr soft light brown sugar
3 eggs
300 ml sunflower or 300 ml margarine melted
300 gr plain flour
zest of half orange
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon + extra to decorate the cake
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 vanilla extract
300 gr carrots, peeled and grated
100 gr shelled walnuts, chopped + extra to decorate

For the Cream Cheese:
500 gr mascarpone cream cheese
100 gr heavy cream
70 gr confectioners' sugar ( less or more, depending on your preference)

Getting to it:
Preheat oven at 170 C.

Beat sugar, oil, and eggs in a freestanding electric mixer, until all ingredients are incorporated.
Slowly add the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, vanilla extract, and orange zest and continue to beat until well mixed. Best  add the flour in different batches in order to not create a flour cloud (been there, done that)!

Stir in the grated carrots and walnuts by hand with a wooden spoon until mixed.

Divide the mixture in three prepared cake tins (20 cm each) and flatten with a palette knife.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and the sponge bounces back when touched.

Leave the cakes to cool slightly before turning them in a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Prepare the frosting: Mix all the ingredients together, but do not over mix because it will split up. Refrigerate for 1 hour, minimum before use.

When the cakes are cold, put one layer in a cake stand and spread one quarter of the cream cheese over it, with a palette knife. Place second layer and repeat. Top with the last cake and spread the remaining frosting over the top and the sides. Finish it up with some chopped walnuts, golden sprinkles and a light sprinkling of ground cinnamon.

Leave it in the fridge to let it set, best one hour before serving.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Savory Dish: Sweet Potato and Vegetable Soup

I am an avid soup lover and as the years go by, I become more and more acquainted with several ingredients that can work really well in them. Soups are easy to make and can therefore be prepared in a minimum of time, using very little ingredients, left in the fridge. When I was a kid, soups weren't really my cup of tea but while growing up and moving out, I realized how I missed home cooked meals. And there is nothing more home-like, than a warm, soothing soup, when returning home from a hard (and rainy) day.


This soup recipe is written by me and is my favorite of all times since it can be made using any ingredients you have on hand. There are many alternatives to it and that is really what makes it fun! Hope you enjoy making it, as much as eating it!

 (serves 6-8, as a starter or main dish)
Ingredients:
2 litres chicken or vegetable stock
1 large white onion
1/2 clove of garlic, smashed
2 large carrots, peeled
2 sweet red potatoes (500 gr), peeled
3-4 potatoes, peeled
1-2 small  zucchinis
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp Indian curry
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp tomato paste
a handful of button mushrooms, chopped finely
parsley
Greek yogurt

Getting to it:
1. In a large pot, saute the onion and garlic until golden in two tablespoons of olive oil. Add in the chicken stock.
2. Cut in cubes all the vegetables (potatoes, carrots, zucchinis). Add them in the stock. Add tomato paste, cumin, Indian curry, pepper and bring to a boil.
3. Let the soup boil until all the vegetables are cooked through completely.
4. In the last minute, add the chopped mushrooms. Let them cook for 5-8 minutes, then remove from the heat.
5. Leave the soup in the pot to cool slightly before processing.
6. Pour the soup in the food processor and blend away. The soup will become pretty shiny and will have the thickness of cream. You may need to fill up the food processor for a few times to make the whole soup.
7. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and some chopped parsley.


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Sunday, 12 January 2014

ρούμεϊτ

Ζητείται συγκάτοικος να ακούμε παρέα Real Estate και Frankie Rose. Τη Δευτέρα θα βλέπουμε GIRLS με κουβερτάκια στον καναπέ, την Κυριακή θα κάνουμε DIY projects. Αγάπη για λαγουδάκι, cupcakes, Νew Girl και Best Coast αναγκαία. Παρακαλείται να μην έχει αλλεργία στο γκλίτερ και να είναι συμφιλιωμένος με τα φωτάκια ψίρες και το σκόρδο. Εσπρεσιέρα ευπρόσδεκτη και γνώση παρασκευής αξιοπρεπών κοκτέιλ επίσης. Καλή επιτυχία

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

στο πιο μυστικο μερος

Σερβιρει τον πιο καλο latte και την πιο γλυκια πασταφλωρα βερυκοκο της πολης. Το στιλ του μαγαζιου, ειναι εμπνευσμενο απο την ελληνικη ταινια "Μια τρελη τρελη οικογενεια" με τη "γλυκια" Πασταφλωρα...
Πολυχρωμα πλακακια, τραπεζια της γιαγιας,φωτιστικα στα τραπεζια, γυαλινες βιτρινες με μπιμπελο, σκαμπο "νανοι" και ενα σωρο διαφορετικα σερβιτσια και ζαχαριερες.... Η Πασταφλωρα, δεν ειναι ενα συνηθισμενο καφε, εχει χαρακτηρα και ιδιαιτερο στιλ (και τη δικη του γευση τσαι!). Ακροβατει αναμεσα στο ποπ και το "κιτς-της γιαγιας μου η κουζινα" υφος.

Ντισκομπάλες, καθρέφτες και πολύχρωμα φωτάκια...

Η μουσικη ξεχωριστη και με ποικιλια κινειται αναμεσα στη jazz, indie pop/rock, folk.... Το βραδυ τα φωτα χαμηλωνουν και στο μπαρ σερβιρονται κοκτειλ που αλλου δε θα βρεις, μεταξυ αυτων το Alice in Wonderland και το αγαπημενο μου Apricot Royal... Πηγαινα με τις φιλες μου εκει απ τα 15 μου περιπου και  σιγουρα αυτο το καφε επαιξε σημαντικο ρολο στην εξελιξη, τοσο του στιλ μου, οσο και της αισθητικης μου...

Σιγουρα, ειναι απο τα πραγματα που μου λειπουν μεχρι σημερα απ την Θεσσαλονικη και εχει την πιο ξεχωριστη θεση στην καρδια μου...
Το καλοκαιρακι, η σειρα απ τα λευκα φερ φορζε καρεκλακια γεμιζει παρεες μεγαλες και μικρες, που χασκογελανε μεχρι αργα το βραδυ, αφου μολις τελειωσει ο καφες, πολλες φορες παραγγελνουν ποτο... (Happy Hour Δευτερα-Πεμπτη 22.30 ολα τα κοκτειλ 5 ευρω!)
Ζευξιδος 6, Κεντρο

Monday, 25 November 2013

halloween treats @Cap Cap

Halloween στις Αθηνες και δε θα μπορουσε να μου γλιτωσει το Cap Cap...μετα απο μια ωρα αναμονης (δε ξερω αν τελικα αξιζε τοσο) δοκιμασα την πιο νοστιμη και αφρατη quiche lorraine με σως μπαρμπεκιου και μοσχαρι...(μαλλον αξιζε)

τα καπκεικς κολοκυθας, ισως πιο κολοκυθενια απ οσο θα τα ηθελα, ειχαν λιγο λιωμενο φροστινγκ απο πανω... τα μπανοφι βεβαια, καλυτερα με διαφορα...σλουρπ!
λευκη σοκολατα...με αρωμα μηλο...και ζελεδενιο ματι! αυτο κι αν αξιζε!