A Taste of Spring

I should have posted these about a couple months ago but instead of complaining about that, I’m just going to casually drop the goods for y’all.

Here’s some more flowers from late spring this year.

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Chrysanthemums ’17

It’s officially a month since my last update and shamefully, I did not deliver on my promises of having queued up posts. Truthfully, I was so busy and mentally occupied in the time leading up to the cruise, I just didn’t get around to it. But excuses, excuses, we’re not here to talk about that, so let’s cut to it.

I have a few chrysanthemum photos I want to share from late spring this year.

I tried some different editing styles in Photoshop with these to bring out a more vintage, cooler toned look. I need to mess around with this style, cause I definitely feel like I can enhance them even more, it’s just about finding that balance.

Hope you guys enjoy.

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Romanian Style Crepes

I am so excited to share this recipe with you all.

I was visiting my aunt a couple weeks ago and happened to stop by while she was preparing to make Romanian crepes – or as we call them, Clatite. So I asked her to explain her process as to how she makes them, and surprisingly, it’s pretty easy. The thing is, it’s not a set recipe, so I’m going to try to translate it into one as best as I can.

Her style of making crepes is delicious and I personally view it as one of her specialties, so I was geeked to try it out on my own. Below, I have a recipe that should yield roughly 16 crepes. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cups flour
2-3 eggs
a good pinch of salt
1 tbsp sugar
milk
mineral water
rum extract/essence of rum
a small bowl with oil and a silicon brush
filling of choice (we like prune or rosehip jam)

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine flour, eggs, salt, sugar, rum extract, and milk until blended together well. Add the milk slowly so you can build a batter.
  2. Once you’ve got a mixture that’s a little on the thicker side, slowly add mineral water to the mixture until the consistency becomes almost soupy. You don’t want it too thin, but you don’t want it so thick that you can’t swivel the mixture around in the pan to coat it.
  3. Add rum extract to taste. My aunt dumped like a good 2 or 3 TABLESPOONS in there, but probably a solid 1 to 1.5 teaspoons should be good.
  4. Heat up a large skillet on high heat. Before putting in your batter, brush the skillet using a silicon brush with some oil to ensure your crepe doesn’t stick.
  5. Pour a large ladle-full of batter in the center of your skillet and take the skillet off the stove while you swivel it to ensure the batter coats the whole bottom of the skillet.
  6. Using a long knife, (you can use a spatula, but a knife works better – and if you have a particularly flexible knife, use that) flip your crepe after roughly 30 seconds or  until the batter is no longer wet and cook for another ~30 seconds or so.

Tips:

  • If you’re having trouble swiveling the batter, your batter may be too thick. Add more mineral water or milk.
  • If you’re having trouble with your crepes breaking after the first couple (flipping them with a knife does take some practice) your batter may be too runny and you should add a little more flour to thicken it up.
  • In our family, and even traditionally in Romania, we like to roll up our crepes with prune jam or rosehip jam, but you can eat them however you please.

Vegetarian Tomato Mushroom Soup

During Lent season, I found a bunch of recipes on Foodgawker for a multitude of vegetarian and vegan foods that fit my family’s lifestyle. This is one that I really enjoyed making and it was also quite easy.

I think everyone should know how to make at least one soup from scratch – cause then you know how make about a thousand different soups from scratch.

This particular recipe uses tomato concentrate; I don’t want to call it advanced, but it might require you going out of your way to get an extra ingredient or two.

Here’s the link to the recipe itself, or, if you’re lazy, check out my altered recipe below.

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Ingredients

1 medium onion, sliced
2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced (I always add like 2-3)
16 oz. (about 4 c.) sliced fresh mushrooms
1-2 leek stalks, chopped
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 (14.5 oz.) can veggie broth – OR – mix 1 tbsp Vegeta seasoning with 14 oz water
1 cup water
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar ( I used apple cider vinegar)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Directions

1. Chop up your onion, leek and carrots, mince the garlic. In a 2-quart saucepan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.
2. Add onion, leek, carrots, and garlic; saute for about 5 minutes until tender.
3. Add mushrooms. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Stir in veggie broth, water, tomato paste, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
6. Sprinkle each serving with parsley.

Gluten Free Cardamom Crepes

Heyyy.

So I have a few recipes up my sleeve that I tried in the past couple months and I wanted to share with you guys.

This first one is super easy and doesn’t actually have a real recipe per se.

I usually make pancakes on Sunday mornings, but I wanted to try making crepes instead, using Pamela’s Gluten Free Pancake flour that I always use. I actually have an additional recipe, straight from my great-aunt, from scratch, that I’ll be sharing later.

For now, though, this one is very simple and delicious. Check it:

Ingredients

(Makes ~8 crepes or pancakes)
1 cup Pamela’s Gluten Free Pancake Mix
1 egg
1 tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup water
cinnamon and cardamom to taste
Fruits, honey, whipped cream for toppings

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Heat a non-stick pan on high (if you don’t have one, just use spray oil before every crepe) and pour your batter one scoop at a time. Swivel your pan to spread the batter as thinly as you can without breaking. You can also use your ladle to help you out with this if the batter is too thick.
  3. Chop your fruits. Optionally, you can mix them with your honey and set aside while you make the crepes. Stuff your crepes with fruits and roll up, then top with whipped cream or more honey and fruits.

 

Carrot Cake Snowballs

Like just about all of my great recipes, I found this one on Foodgawker and it looked so delicious and so easy, I said LET’S DO IT!

I’m not a huge fan of carrot cake – but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the vast majority of American desserts. I find that most of them taste like sugar on steroids rather than actual flavor. However, this one has that middle eastern twist and I can deal with that.

They involve pitted dates, but given that I live within 5 minutes of a middle eastern grocery store, I have something better – DATE PASTE. No need to get your blender sticky with dates.

This recipe also contains cashews – my new favorite nut, by the way. I only had salted cashews, so I rinsed them before I pulverized them in my Ninja blender. I also gave the oats a spin in there. If you’re using a package of date paste, I suggest doubling up on the other ingredients.

My altered recipe is below:

Ingredients

  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 13 oz date paste (1 package)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • zest from 1/2 orange and freshly squeeze juice from said orange
  • desiccated coconut for rolling

Directions

  1. Peel and wash your carrots. Grate your carrots.
  2. Rinse your cashews if they’re salted. Pop them in a blender 1/4 cup at a time and burst blend them until they’re between coarse and fine.
  3. Blend your oatmeal as well. You don’t want a fine powder, but you do want everything to be about the same size.
  4. In a large bowl, combine carrots, date paste, oats, spices, salt, zest of an orange, and the juice if your orange together. You can of course opt to do this in a blender, but why clean more than you need to? Use your hands to mix together well.
  5. In a separate bowl, add coconut. Form your snowballs into balls and roll around in coconut.
  6. Pop the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving, to firm up.

Winter Blues

It’s definitely been a hot minute since I last posted here.

Truthfully, I haven’t touched my camera in a while. The most I’d have to offer at this point would be some unedited photos of my face after I got my hair done a week ago.

Not only have I not been inspired to do photography lately, but I just never feel like there’s anything I want to photograph in winter, especially when all the snow is melted and the sky looks like a giant gray blanket. I’ve never found joy in photographing in artificial light.

I’m looking forward to spring and the annual crop of floral photography that you all know will be showcased here. For now, I’m keeping myself occupied creating floral embroidery pieces that I’m planning on throwing up for sale in my Etsy shop (link for those who want it). I currently have made-to-order Disney princess aprons for sale.

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I’m also planning on creating new prints for my Society6 shop. Since the election season, my Nasty Woman prints have been doing really well and I think feminist art will be in the works. I donate proceeds from the sale of these pieces to Planned Parenthood.

There’s certainly no lack of creative projects happening for me. I’ve also got a year-long goal of doing one fully rendered fashion sketch per week.

Somewhere in there, I’ll be fitting in photography. Stay tuned.

Hit up my other blog for more activity though – Vivologie – where I post all kinds of reviews, DIYs, and more.