5:2 diet – Vegeterian fast days 5&6

Another 2 fast days done (and I’m writing this at the end of the 7th one) so you could say my diet is still going strong. And now I’m definitely not giving up – besides noticing my tummy getting smaller and my boyfriend claiming that it’s obvious I lost weight (which are both arbitrary and I don’t trust all the time), the progress is starting to show on the scale. I have lost somewhere around 2 kg since I started the diet and I think that’s quite great. I’m now at the lowest weight point in the last 4 or 5 years and I feel amazing. There’s still a bit to go to reach my goal weight, but I’m really confident I’m going to get there, for the first time in any of my weight loss experiments (and trust me, there have been quite a few).

I’ve decided I’m going to do these reports for 2 days together from now on. The recipes will start to repeat themselves and I’m just not really fascinated by the amount of food that goes into 500 calories and have stopped taking pictures :).

So here goes, fast day 5 and 6.

Breakfast 5 : milk gritz (no idea what the English word really is) and plum – 150 cal

25 g uncooked semolina (or gritz?) (80 cal) +100 ml semi skimmed milk (50 cal) + 1 plum (20 cal)

On fast day 6, I slept extremely long and decided to do an experiment, and not eat breakfast. Not a great idea, because I actually had trouble getting the 500 calories in and did something rather stupid, but fun, at the end. You’ll see:))


Lunch 5: Tuscan soup 145 cal

35 g onion (15 cal) + 80 g savoy cabbage (25 cal) + 65 g celery sticks (6 cal)+ 50 g carrot (22 cal) + 100g chopped tomatoes (22 cal) + 1 clove garlic (5 cal) + 50 g butter beans (50 cal)

This is a really nice atumn soup and so easy to make. Just chop everything, throw in a pan and cook for 30 minutes with a bit of thyme, salt and pepper.

Lunch 6: Tomato lentil soup: 171 cal

230 g Chopped tomatoes (51 cal) + 40 g lentils (120 cal)

This was just leftover pizza sauce cooked with lentils. Not glamours, but tasty:)

Dinner 5: roasted veggies 208 cal

125 g butter nut squash ( 52 cal) +130 g cauliflower (50 cal) + 1 tsp olive oil (40 cal) 5 g mayo (35 cal) + 50 g low fat yoghurt (30 cal)

Cut the vegetables, sprinkle with olive oil and bake on 200°C for 20 minutes. In the mean time mix mayo, yoghurt and some herb salt for the dip.

Dinner 6: Turnip gratin and vegetables: 236 cal

250 g turnips (73 cal) small egg (54 cal) + 70 ml semi skimmed milk (16 cal) + 10 g light cheddar (23 cal) +1 clove garlic (4 cal) +130 g mushrooms (21 cal) + 10 green beans ( 36 cal)

For the gratin cut the turnips into thin slices. Mix the egg, milk and chopped garlic, add salt, pepper a bit of cayenne, a bit of fresh thyme. Place the turnips in an oven-proof dish, pour over the egg and milk mixture, grate the cheese on top and bake on 180°C for around 45 minutes. If it starts getting brown, cover with tin foil.

aaaaand then there was the stupid thing: 16 g dark chocolate with hazelnuts- 91 cal

5:2 diet: vegetarian fast days 3&4

I’m quite busy at the moment, so day 3 and 4 will have to be jammed together into one post. Fasting is getting both easier and harder, which, I know, is an oxymoron. It’s easier, because I now know exactly what to expect in the day, the hunger and moods and all. But it’s also harder, because I know exactly what to expect, the moods and hunger and all.

Then there’s fact that I’m not really loosing weight, which is making me question the whole experiment. In the two weeks, I didn’t even loose a kg. I lost somewhere between 5 dkg and 8 dkg, which seems like almost nothing and I’m not even really sinning on the non fast days. (Ok, maybe I am, but by drinking way too much craft beer which always seems better than cakes, even though it’s more or less exactly the same or even worse, with the alcohol and all)

Anyway, tomorrow I’m planning on day 5 and I feel a cold coming on. If I wake up tomorrow feeling like shit, I’ll probably give up on the whole diet. If I feel OK, I’ll definitely fast, because some friends are coming over tonight and I made banofee pie;)

Anyway, here’s my fast days 3 and 4.

Breakfast 3: Cinnamon apple oatmeal (142)

20 g oats (71 cal) + 1 apple (71 cal)

Breakfast 4: apple&yoghurt&cereal (162 cal)

10 g malted wheats (34 cal) + apple (71 cal)+ 0 fat yogurt (57 cal)

Lunch 3: Cous cous with creamy mushrooms (200 cal)

1 tso olive oil (40 cal) + 50g onions (20 cal) + garlic clove (5 cal) + 5 g dried porcini mushrooms (14 cal) + 150 g chestnut mushrooms (48 cal) + 50g 0 fat greek yoghurt (29 cal) + 25 g couscous (40) cal

Soak the porcinis in about 1 dcl of water. Chop everything that needs chopping, heat the oil, add the onions and garlic, saute for 5 minutes. Then add the chestnut mushrooms and the now rehydrated porcinis (chopped if they are big) and just enough of the water the porcinis were soaked in to cover everything. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes. Prepare the cous cous in the mean time. Just before serving, mix the yoghurt into the mushrooms. Serve topped with a bit of chopped parsley.

Lunch 4:Chick pea curry (141 cal)

100g drained check peas (72 cal) + 100 g frozen spinach (26 cal) + 100 g chopped tomatoes (22 cal) + 40 g white onion (16 cal) + 1 clove garlic (5 cal) + 1 tsp curry powder ,1/2 tsp fenugreek, ½ tsp cumin + ½ tsp mustrad seeds (lets say 0)

In a nonstick skillet saute the chopped onion, garlic and spice with a tbsp of water for 5 minutes. Add al other ingredients and cook for 20 minutes.

Dinner 3: Mixed baby greens and egg salad (140 cal)

2 cups mixed baby greens (15 cal) + 1 small egg (60 cal) + 15 g 0 fat greek yoghurt (10 cal)+ juice of half lemon (5) + 2 tsp mixed seeds (50 cal)

Dinner 4: Broccoli stir fry (204 cal)

1 clove garlic (5cal) 50g yellow bell pepper (16 cal) + 50g carrot (20 cal) + 150 g broccoli (49 cal) + 50 g tofu (38 cal) + 5 ml sesame oil (41 cal) + 1 tsp mixed seed (25 cal) + 1 tbsp soy sauce (10 cal)

Heat the oil, add garlic, add carrot and bell pepper, fry for 3 minutes, add broccoli, a bit of water and soy sauce, fry for 5 minutes. add tofu, cook 3 more minutes. sprinkle with seeds before serving.

5:2 Diet: vegetarian fast day 2

My second fast day is done! Just as the first one, and probably most of the rest is going to be, this one was vegetarian. It was slightly tougher than the last, because I also had full on PMS. And that always makes me crave fatty foods. Contrary to what you may think,  I did get them, in a way, because I had some tasty cauliflower and cheese for dinner:) (yes, again, there was room fr cheese in the 500 calories. Isn’t that amazing?)

On the weight loss front, absolutely nothing is happening. I have more or less the exact same weight I had when I started a week ago. I’m also blaming PMS for that, because it always feels like my ankles absorb a ton of water from the air, because it’s so much more fun for everyone when they’re swollen.. So I’ll give it another week and if nothing changes till then, I’ll stop with the diet and try out something else.

Anyway, here’s what I ate on fast day 2:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with veggies – 141 cal

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50 g chestnut mushrooms (16 cal) + 50 g yellow bell pepper (16 cal) + 50g white onion (20 g) + 1 medium egg (88 cal)

Lunch: Minestrone with barley – 151 cal

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100g chopped tomatoes (22 cal) + 50g leeks (12 cal) +50g frozen peas (33 cal) + 100 g celery sticks (10 g) + 50 g carrots (22 cal) + 15 g instant barley (52 cal)

(Chop the veggies, put in a pan, add tomatoes, some basil, oregano and seasoning, cover with water and cook for 10 minutes. Add barley and cook for 10-15 more minutes)

Dinner: Cauliflower&cheese – 200 cal

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5g butter (32 cal) + 5g pastry flour (18 cal) + 15 g mature light cheddar (46 cal) + 75 ml semi skimmed milk (18 cal) + 200 g cauliflower (76 cal) + 1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard (around 10)

Cook the cauliflower for 10 minutes, save some of the water. Melt the butter, add the flour and milk and cook until it thickens. Add ¾ of the cheese, mustard, salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit of the cauliflower water. Put the cauliflower in an oven proof dish, pour the sauce over and grate the rest of the cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes on 180. I made 2 servings of this, because my boyfriend also had it for dinner (with some steak, obviously:)), and I would recommend you do the same, otherwise the amounts of everything you’re using are so small, it gets hard to cook.

Ps: I’m using the android app “My fitness pal” to calculate all of the calorie values, just so you know where I get the numbers from. I hope it’s accurate. It has this cool feature where you just scan a bar-code and the app has the product with all of its nutritional info in the database, which makes a lot of things a lot easier.

Upcycling Shoes with Machine Embroidery

I got the idea for this revamp on a lonely night bus ride home. After one of the worst journeys ever, in which I got lost without the internet somewhere in the middle of the lonely City at around 2 am, I was almost home when a million of very loud slightly drunk probably very posh 20somethings entered the bus. The only good thing about them was a wonderful pair of shoes the loudest of them wore. Suede flats with an embroidered tiger right in the front. I had one of the “my god, why haven’t I thought of sticking some embroidery on shoes before” moments, but when I found them online, I realized it was because I’m not a designer for a world renown fashion label. They’re Kenzo. Obviously. (I, also obviously, know nothing about fashion these days)

I knew I had to try something similar out on these shoes I once bought for 5 pounds and never wore. I could literally loose nothing. I’m not a fan of tigers, or any Asian inspired embroidery for that matter, it reminds me too much of Chinese restaurants. So I choose a bird. I like embroidering birds on clothes. You might recognize the style of this one form my shorts, and that’s because the design is from the same Urban Threads line (I bought the whole pack:)).

On the of chance of this really working out, I took pictures along to way, to make kind of a tutorial. So here it is:

You’ll need

- a nice, solid embroidery design
-a pair of boring ballerina flats
-some fabric in the same colour as the shoes or a complementing colourful
-embroidery thread
-heavy weight cut away stabilizer
-strong glue
-clothes pins or hair clips
-all the usual equipment (you know, embroidery machine, scissor,…)
-pliers, possibly

1. Get a design. If you wanted to make them more similar to the Kenzo originals, you can easily find a tiger embroidery designs on line. In general, you have to find something that has pretty solid outlines, but the rest is up to you. Measure the width of the front of your shoes, and subtract approximately 2 cm from it. Get a design with that approximate width, or resize the design to it. Remove any existing decorations from the shoes.

2. Stitch the deign out on a fabric of your choice twice- once the original way, and once mirrored. (If you have a symmetrical design, mirroring won’t do much:)) I chose to use fabric of the same colour as the shoes, but I think you could get great results with a different, complementary colour. Use heavy weight cut away stabiliser. Iron on, If you have a choice. (I didn’t, I had the stabiliser at home:))

3. Cut the fabric on the bottom of the design around the design as close to it as possible. (You can shape the top later, so that it looks good on your feet). Put one of the shoes on and experiment with the positioning of the embroidery until you find a place where it looks good. (you could obviously plan the whole thing out beforehand, but I’m not that kind of person).

Don’t just randomly place the design on the shoe so that it looks good. If you look at my shoes without them being on my feet, it seems the design would work better if it was placed a bit lower, and a bit more angled, but then it would look weird on the foot.

Secure it to the shoe with scotch tape, take the shoe off. When you take it off, stick a pin into it, just to be safe it stay where it should. Mirror the position of the design on the other shoe.

4. With a strong glue, glue the design to the shoe. (It doesn’t have to be SUPER strong, you’re also going to stitch it later). Place some clothespins (or hair-clips) on it to hold it down and let it dry for a few hours.

   

5. With a thread the same colour as the fabric, stitch the design to the shoe. Use small stitches on the right side and place them as close together as you can, but in a places where they won’t be noticeable from afar. Use pliers for help, if you find it hard to get the needle through the fabrics.

6. Enjoy your new designer shoes! :)

 

Things I might do differently next time: add a second layer of fabric under the design before glueing it to the shoes. Possibly planing everything out more and choosing a shoes that fits on the shoes a bit more.

also, here’s a shitty picture of me wearing them. They survived a night out, so I guess the whole thing is pretty sturdy and was definitely worth my time. (ps, I’m wearing a new shirt I’ll have to blog about sometime. and new hair. )

The 5:2 diet: my first vegetarian fast day

I have started a new diet. And if you’re from the UK, it’s obviously not going to surprise you that’s it’s the 5:2 a.k.a the fast diet. If you’re not and you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a diet almost everyone around here has tried at some point since it became popular at the beginning of 2013 and it’s incredibly simple. 5 days of the week you eat as you normally would. You can even have guilt free cake and fired chicken and Franco Manca (I have yet to find another place that makes anything I’d call pizza here:)) and things like that. But two days a week (not one after the other), you fast. (Some people might think you starve, but it really ain’t that bad). You eat at most 500 calories, which, at the first glance, sounds like nothing. But as I’m going to demonstrate here, it’s really not. There’s even room for cheese. Cheese! I’m not saying I wasn’t hungry and everything felt wonderful all the time, but honestly, I’m always hungry. I’m hungry at this very moment and I had wholegrain pancakes with golden syrup and a ton of raspberries for breakfast two hours ago.

My only problem is that I’ve also started a new general diet, in which I only eat meat at most once a week. (I can never become a vegetarian, but I just had to stop pretending eating meat all the time is healthy and not bad for the environment). And most of the fast day recipes involved chicken, because, well, everyone loves it and it’s really low in calories. I, however, don’t love it that much, so I had to do without. And here’s what I ate:

Breakfast: 150 calories

brekfast1

25g porridge oats (90 cal) + 100 g/one half of a pear (60 cal) + tsp of cinnamon (0 cal) + green tea (0 cal)

Lunch: Creamy lentil, carrot and coconut soup: 160 calories

lunch1

30g red split lentils (90cal)+1 medium carrot (25 cal), + 50g leek (12 cal) + 1 tbsp desicated coconut (36cal)

If you want to make it, just wash the lentils, chop the carrot and leek and place everything together in a soup pan. Season with salt, pepper and coriander seeds to your taste, cover with water and cook for around 30 minutes. Then blend. If you don’t like tiny piece of coconut in your soup, use coconut cream, if you have it. I didn’t:)

Dinner: courgette “pasta” with tomato, garlic and aged cheddar (I didn’t have parimganio):180 cal

vecerja1

200g courgette (40 cal) + 2 cloves of garlic (8cal) + 180g fresh tomato (50 cal) + 1 tsp olive oil (40cal) + 10 g mature cheddar (42 cal) + basil (0, at most 1 cal)

If you want to make it, make the pasta out of the courgette with a vegetable peeler (google it, tons of instructions on line if you have no idea how to make it). Than fry the garlic in the oil, add the “pasta”, add chopped tomatoes, season with fresh basil and salt and pepper. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Serve with the cheese.

So, all together, I even had 10 calories leftover. (well, my scale is far from precise, so it reality, it was probably a calorie or two more than 500, but I think that’s not a problem).

I’ll have a report like this for every fast day, because even though the internet is full of recipes, there’s not really that many vegetarian meal plans for the whole day (this one could even be vegan, if you substitute the cheese with something) and I hope this might help some people. I’ll also report on the weight loss front:) My goal is 5 kg, which, I hope, I’m going to achieve in less then 10 weeks… I was extremely slowly losing weight anyway, even before I started this diet. I’m a new devoted runner (really started 2 months ago), and have a goal to run 200 km till the end of November, starting this week. I obviously don’t intend to run on fast days, because I’m not that kind of a masochist. I will do yoga and will have to walk the dog however…

If you’re also following the diet and write a blog, I’d love to follow a few people on the same journey, so please leave a comment:)

Hot air balloon dress (and some sea)

IMG_20140813_142654

I’ve been crazy busy for the past month, working and working and working in the hopes I’ll be able to completely enjoy my seaside vacation. But I didn’t finish everything I meant to (had to work during the holiday a bit, but at least I had an office with the perfect view once in my life). The main reason for not finishing the work project is … I also wanted to finish at least on last summer sewing project before I left London for Croatia. I knew it will basically be autumn once I got back and I also wanted to have a photo-shoot with one of my makes in a very picturesque setting. Id say the sacrifice was worth it… Here is my hot air balloon dress on me on the gorgeous island Vis.

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The dress is the Burda style Island Placket Dress (04/2014 #121).

I also planed on making an actual maxi version with a colourful fabric, but decided I prefer swimming to working in lovely dresses on holidays.

closeup

The fabric is some kind of chiffon and it’s the first fabric I bought after moving to London. As probably everyone in the world ever, I’m terrified of sewing chiffon, but in the end it wasn’t as horrible as I expected it to be. I have to redo the hem, I rushed it too much and I need a rolled hem foot (for some reason, I thought I have one, but I don’t.) I have a mild obsession with hot air balloons. But just with the way they look, I’d probably die of fear if I ever had to fly in one.

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*why do I look like I only have one leg and am generally not very coordianted? Because I’m not. And I’m sooooo awkward at posing:)

I really love the pattern and I’m so sorry I didn’t buy the issue of Burda, because I’d love to make all of the other variations, but don’t have the instructions. I really like the front of the dress, but didn’t realise how bra unfriendly it’s going to be from the side. I might try something out next time I’m making it, becouse there’s difinitely going to be a next time, but not before next spring. It’s time for autumnal sewing now, but I don’t really have anything lined up?

Any projects for autumn you can’t wait to sew?

The Shorts (dealing with my body image issues)

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These aren’t average shorts. And I don’t want to point out that they were sewn by me or that I added awesome UT embroidery to them (that’s important too, but we’ll get to that later.) These are the first pair of short I have owned in 15 years (cycling shorts don’t count). And 15 years is more than a half of my life. I haven’t worn shorts since I was officially a child.

I always had issues with the way my body looks. My stomach was always too soft and too big. My hair is curly and I have no idea how to control it. The tops of my arms have developed wings of fat in the last 5 years. One of my boobs is significantly bigger than the other. There’s all the other hair all over my body that shouldn’t be there. But nothing has ever bothered me as much as my thighs and the whole cellulite thing surrounding them has.

All of this is about to change, however. For some time now, I’ve been actively working on not hating myself. Not on loving myself, love is a strong emotion, love is hard. I’m just trying not to stare at other women on the street and guess how much worse I’d look in the cute clothes they’re wearing. (I’m also trying not too look at other women, finding flaws in the way they look and feeling smug because I’m “smart” enough not to wear crop tops).

I still remember the day I read my first magazine for “female readers”. It was targeted towards very young teens, full of articles about first kisses and crushes and boy bands. But also, for whatever fucked up reason, full of articles about how to get rid of cellulite and how to hide it if you’re a lazy idiot who’s not trying hard enough to get rid of it. I was 12. I started secretly shaving and stopped wearing anything that my new bible deemed not appropriate for my body type. Then highschool and serious puberty started and I was suddenly to cool and alternative to read magazines like that. I also started wearing all kins of wired (showy) clothes, pretending I don’t care what other people think while in reality I was always careful that, even though the skirts were short, they were wide and long enough to cover the disgusting tops of my legs. I never even tried on shorts. Shorts were too dangerous.

From there, everything went down. I gained and gained weight although I was constantly dieting, trying to get back to the magical “bellow xy where I would be happy”. Then I started my first real job and in the span of a year gained more than 10 kg (20? pounds). After I quit that job almost 3 years ago I did manage to loose some of it, but my wii fit is still telling me every day that my BMI is just on the verge of too high.

I’m pretty healthy, despite the stats. I started running (and I think I’m sticking to it) and do yoga and even on a lazy day walk at least an hour, because the dog would go crazy if we wouldn’t exercise a bit. I’m probably rounder then the average beautiful hipster lady walking around the neighbourhood. But I also have some sewing skills and an amazing embroidery machine and the weather is hot. So fuck it. I’m going to wear some goddamn shorts. I’m displaying all of the dimples on my thighs and I will do my best not to care who sees them. And sometime in the future, when I’m completely OK with how I look, I’ll start with the learning to love myself thing. Baby steps.

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The shorts are Burda Style 2/2013, model 129. I cut out size 44, because of all of the things I said above, but I could have probably gotten away with a 42. I had to take them in quite a bit in the waist (yay, compared to the rest of my body, my waist is perfect). I also lengthened them a bit, because I didn’t want short shorts. Just shorts are enough for now.

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I wanted my first grown-up shorts to be special, so I embellished them with one of the new amazing Folklorico designs from Urban threads. I thought about maybe changing the shape of the pockets so they would actually follow the curve of the design, but decided against it, because the pockets aren’t that obvious anyway.

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As usual, I had problems with inserting the invisible zip (that isn’t invisible now), broke a needle and was very happy I’m wearing glasses, because there was some potential for loosing an eye. But the zipper closes, the hem is actually very straight and I’m really happy with how they turned out. So if people stare at me in anyway, they’re not judging my cellulite, they’re jealous of the awesomeness of my shorts.

MIID summer school, beginner track: beginings

I’ve joined the “Make it in design Summer School beginner track”. Mainly because I would really love to take some of the other online courses from them or from Lilla Rogerts, but I just don’t have the money for it, and this one was free. I also want to try out an online course, before I pay money for it. All of my experiences with taking any kind of on-line classes (mostly from coursera) were the same: at first, I was super enthusiastic about it and did all of my homework, but then I lost interest and just forgot about them. So I guess this is like a nice test drive to see how I’ll function in the situation.

Anyway, the first brief is out and we have to design a pattern centred around the theme “Tropical paradise”. The most tropical place, which, incidentally is also the place most resembling paradise I’ve ever been to is the lovely Portuguese island Madeira. When I was way younger, we would go there for our summer holidays with my family, 5 summers in a row. I loved it. LOVED LOVED LOVED it. Thus, my image of a tropical paradise is slightly different from the one suggested in the brief. I don’t associate it with palm trees and I certainly don’t associate it with pink plastic flamingos. I’ve never seen any of those in real life anyway. For me, a tropical paradise is full of streliza flowers, the smell of passion fruit and sand as black as the night.

 

mood board1

 

I’ve obviously never made a mood board in my life (yes, I do need some actual education regarding surface pattern design:)) and I think this is probably not really a mood board, but anyway, here’s my first collage of pictures that serve me as my first inspiration. It’s also where I’ll get my colour pallet from.

ps, I don’t know thw rules of mood boarding, but heres where I got the photos from:

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/plantasyflores/4443535978/
http://madaboutplants.com.au/Strelitzia-reginae-Bird-of-Paradise-
http://www.authenticadventures.co.uk/destinations/portugal/madeira.aspx
http://kelliesfoodtoglow.com/2012/03/23/green-tea-lime-and-passionfruit-polenta-cake-with-passionfruit-curd/
https://www.buyfruit.com.au/passionfruit
http://www.pbase.com/nella/image/145434790

(traditional Slovenian) Wild Mushroom and Potato Soup

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If you were to ask me what a traditional dish from where I come from is, I’d probably say Potica, because it’s what every Slovenian says from the top of their head. And I would then explain to you that’s it’s a cake and all of it’s variations and … But then you might ask me about savoury dishes and I’d probably have to take a minute to think about my answer. It’s hard to define our culinary national identity, lots of the dishes we claim are “ours”, you can also find all around central and eastern Europe. But then I’d remember this wonderful soup, so simple and ubiquitous in the specific area where I come from (The area around the Pohorje mountain), no-one probably even thinks about it as anything special. Every shady restaurant will serve a variation in mushroom season (late spring-early autumn), but if you’d actually take the time to go to one of the mountain cottages (they’re usually quite large and can host more than a hundred people, the “cottage” part is just an expression) you’d get something so delicious, you’d speak about it for years. (Just ask my friend D….).

Traditionally it would be served with one of the best things that ever came out of a kitchen, something I’m going to call buckwheat polenta, because I don’t think the word “Žganci” has an actual translation. You make it by cooking coarse buckwheat flour until you get something resembling potato mash – but because I had no buckwheat flour on hand, I couldn’t make it here and won’t write a real recipe until I try it with available products (In Slovenia you can obviously buy a product called buckwheat žganci). Then on top of the poletna and soup, you’d get a large spoonful of ocvirki – pig fat and cracklings, which is pretty much the only thing in the world that’s slightly better than bacon.

Anyway, here’s the recipe for the soup part of the dish. It has potatoes in there, so the buckwheat is more a luxury than a necessity and if you really wanted to have something meaty in there (and didn’t have “ocvirki”) you could add bacon lardons and that would probably be almost as good as the version you’d get on Pohorje. My version also had carrots in it, because I feel guilty if there’s almost no vegetables in my dinner and because that’s how I’m used to making it.

You’ll need

(for 2 hungry people if it’s a main, 4 if it’s a starter)

  • 2 cups wild mushrooms, cleaned and cut into strips (I had 4 porcinis and 1 chantarell that I brought back with me from Slovenia. The soup is better with more chantarells, but it’s really tasty with just porcinis. Using store bought button mushrooms would probably produce something good to, but that just wouldn’t be the same.)
  • 1 cup diced potatoes (very small dice. Around 0.5 cm)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried majoram (or use oregano, but than use ¾ tsp. They are basically the same, oregano is just a bit stronger)
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • around 700 ml (3 cups) vegetable stock
  • around 100 ml (around 1/2cup) dry white wine, preferably from the north east of Slovenia;) (if you don’t want to open a bottle of wine, use around a tbsp of white wine vinegar and add more stock)
  • 3 tbsp soured cream
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

sestavine

1. In a soup pan heat the oil and butter and add the onions and carrots. Saute on medium heat until the onion gets translucent. Add potatoes, saute for 2 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, saute until you can smell it (30 seconds) then add the mushrooms. Add a good pinch of salt and saute for 5 minutes, all while mixing everything gently. (don’t break the mushrooms into too small pieces)

3. Add enough stock to cover all of the dry ingredients and the oregano and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. In the meantime chop parsley.

4. Add the white wine or vinegar (it is VERY important to wait with the wine until the potatoes are cooked. If you add acid to cooking potatoes they magically won’t cook at all), cream and a tbsp of parsley and cook for 5 more minutes.

5. Sprinkle with more fresh parsley, serve and enjoy.

6. Dober tek!;)

juha

Amsterdam by (mega)Bus

puzli

As much as I didn’t mind or even slightly enjoyed the coach journey to Brussels, I hated the one to A’dam. Firstly, it was significantly longer -we took the night bus and crossed the sea by ferry, which takes an hour longer than the tunnel and well, Amsterdam is further away. Secondly, this time the coach was completely full, there were no empty seats. And the last, but definitely not the least important reason for my hatred of the journey-the bus was full of drunk and loud young Brits, who were extremely, and I mean extremely annoying. The journey back was a bit better, because they were all tired and slept, but the bus was still completely full… If you’re thinking about buying a ticket, think twice. Or at least don’t go in the Summer, I guess loud youngsters aren’t that keen on partying in the Netherlands in the colder months.

ulica

The main reason for this trip was neither partying (too old or at least too granny-like for that) nor all the wonderful sights and museums you can visit there. Those are left for another day. The main reason was to meet up with the core group of my high school best friends, who live scattered across Europe. Vegerafinja Lives in Brussels, where she has a fancy EU job, N. lives in Zwolle (a small Dutch city), where she has a beautiful family, and D. lives in Berlin, where she has a much better chance of making the world a better place (she enjoys working for non-profit organisations). (And I’m in London, doing nothing.) Another high school classmate of ours lives in Amsterdam, and she was kind enough to offer us accommodation and showing us the not so touristy sights of the city.

mavrica

Most of the time we didn’t do much. We ate approximately a ton of Cheese (no, really, no kidding, I’m pretty sure I ate more than a pound in the four days). We also watched the NED-MEX game in a very cool abandoned factory next to a beach like setting (B. brought us there and I’m sure she told us how it’s called, but Dutch words are the worst).

tekma
*The orange Madonna was put there just after the first half. I’m not religious, but… ;)

Then we drank a reasonable amount of beer, most of it in the awesome Brouwerij’t IJ, which is a tiny craft brewery right next to a windmill. Drinking beer next to a windmill while eating cheese was probably the most touristy thing we did.

bruverit

We also went to one of the markets, the very famous one, the one that also has a Dutch name. It’s great for fabric shopping, if you don’t need to save money as much as I do. It’s even better for buying cheese, especially if you do need to save money, because one of the stands offers large pieces of AMAZING cheese for 2.5€. They also make poffertjes there…

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The highlight was definitely meeting all of my friends in one place after a year and a half, then watching the game, seeing the Dutch win and celebrate and then walking back from the venue to the city centre right before a short storm, roughly around sunset. I don’t think I ever took this many pretty phone pics in such a short amount of time. Afterwards, some of us were happy enough to stay in the centre for some more beer and a stroll through the Red light district (it was D.s first time in A’dam).

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sunset1

Amsterdam is incredibly pretty in sunshine, D. noted that it mostly looks fake, because it’s so close to what you see in pictures. There’s beautiful houses, millions of canals, everything is small and everything looks more or less the same. Without a tour guide, you’ll definitely get lost. But that’s not that bad- there’s always a tram or a bus going back to the central station and there’s always something adorable to discover among the wobbly streets. Like pretty street art or delicious pommes frites.

muse