Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Vegetable, Bean and Sausage Soup

This is a tasty and easy soup to make, perfect for cooler days.

Veggie, bean, and sausage soup. 

- one can of cannellini beans 
- 2 cloves of garlic 
- one small onion
- 1/2 a crown of broccoli chopped 
- 2 carrots chopped 
- a handful of kale chopped 
- one sweet potato chopped 
-3 white potatoes chopped 
- a carton of vegetable stock 
-4 small breakfast sausages chopped 
- 1/2 cup frozen corn 
- one teaspoon Greek herbs, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper and 1/4 cayenne pepper, salt to taste 
-one chopped tomato 

Method -
1. Saute the onion and garlic for 7 minutes add veggies and tomato cook for another 10
2. Add stock and a little more water, herbs and spices, beans, and sausages, and simmer for 20-25 min 
3. Enjoy 

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Friday, September 29, 2023

Tips for Visiting South Korea

We recently visited South Korea for 2 weeks. I was very impressed with this country and would highly recommend it. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

Lefkada, Greece

This June we visited a wonderful Island on the West Coast of Greece. It sits in the Ionian Sea with its beautiful blue waters. The island has a bridge so you can drive to it, has a small town and various villages and ports. It has been developed in a lovely way with small hotels and mostly Airbnbs dotted along the hillsides many with lovely views. It has mountains, beaches, farms, abundant flowers, butterflies, plant life, and biodiversity. 

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Photo Tour of Kifisia ( Athens, Greece)

We were recently in Greece, it has been 20 years since I had been, and even got to meet up with a dear college friend there. We started our trip in Athens and walked in Plaka and around the Acropolis. Then the next day drove to Patras my friend's home town and then spend a few days in Lefkada an amazing island, expect a post soon!

But on the way back before flying out we decided to stroll around Kifisia a beautiful northern suburb of Athens and one to put on your radar. 

It has lovely tree-lined streets and parks, high-end international stores, and great places to eat. It also has a wide range of cool architecture and lots of beautiful homes. 
It feels cooler than other parts of Athens and many big companies have their headquarters in this area. 

The pictures below give you a feel for the area. 

How interesting is this building? 

A beautiful hotel. 

If you are in Athens be sure to put this neighborhood on the list of places to visit, my friend used to live here and can you believe she got married in January in the snow and rode to the church on a horse. 

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Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Kefir and Radish Yogurt Salad

This tasty salad is inspired by my friend's recipe. I had a radish and dill salad at her house and wanted to re-create it, not sure about you but I often get inspired to try new recipes this way. 

Also, I wanted a recipe that used Kefir as it's a lovely source of probiotics,   Kefir is a fermented milk that is made from kefir grains, a specific type of mesophilic symbiotic culture. It is prepared by inoculating the milk of cows, goats, or sheep with kefir grains.
It is also lower in lactose than regular yogurt. 

Kefir and Radish Yogurt Salad 

Ingredients -

- kefir about 2 cups 
- Radish or cucumber - I used about 4 small radishes - grated and 1 small cucumber 
- Dill - a handful of fresh dill finely chopped 
- Garlic -one clove chopped 
- Cilantro a handful finely chopped 
- Salt to taste 
- Paprika a sprinkle 
- 1/4 of a red onion chopped 

Method -
1. chop and prepare all the ingredients and mix together, 
2. enjoy as a snack or a vegetable side with a meal.

Some other ways to use kefir may include 

Trying it 

  • with fruit
  • mixed into yogurt
  • in a smoothie
  • with oats
  • in salad dressings
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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Roasted Vegetable and Lentil Salad

This was a super easy salad, and so good served over labneh with pita bread. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Monsaraz, Portugal

On our recent trip to Portugal and Spain, we wanted a stop en route back from Sevilla to Lisbon and stumbled across Monsaraz and we are so glad we did. I remember driving to the hillside village through an ancient archway over the cobbled streets to arrive at the AirBnB and being blown away by this beautiful and ancient abode with views over the countryside below. 

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Tips for Lisbon

We recently visited Lisbon or Lisboa the capital of Portugal, we came at the start of our trip to Portugal and Spain. We stayed the first couple of nights in Belem a neighborhood along the Tagus River near the 16th Century Tower of Belém. It was a lovely quiet area about 25 min to the center of the city by bus or Uber. It has lovely local bakeries and it was so nice in the mornings seeing all the locals from all walks of life enjoying their coffee and pastries.
It also has a wonderful botanical garden called the Tropical Botanical Garden, once called The Colonial Garden it was founded in 1912 by the Jerónimos Monastery. There is a little more about it here and apparently, it was neglected for many years, you can really see this in one of the Greenhouses that's all overgrown. It is home to ducks and peacocks and has some lovely tropical greens and peaceful places to sit. 

Address: Largo dos Jerónimos, 1400-209 Lisboa, Portugal

Another thing we did was take a guided walking tour from Airbnb with Xenia, we really enjoyed this tour through the Alfama neighborhood, one of Lisbons' oldest neighborhoods. In fact one of the few places that survived the devastating Earthquake of 1755. The guide was funny and genuine maybe not everyone's cup of tea but I learned a lot from her. About the people and their resilience in this city and country, it has changed over the centuries and has seen many hard times economically with a dictatorship under António de Oliveira Salazar. Many people went overseas to seek work.  

The country has seen a few economic crises and bailouts and austerity measures. The guide in fact shared that when houses were left empty as people moved overseas the government would sell them. Houses in the Alfama area are now very expensive. Families who have been there for generations are proud and live in old homes. I was surprised to learn that some do not have a washing machine or shower and the locals use community laundries and these are by hand! there is a picture below. The area has cool shops, street art, and a great vibe. 

Unforgettable Lisbon walking Tour with Xenia 

This street art was particularly cool as it used tiles as its medium which is traditional in Portugal. 

Beautiful and ancient house.

one of the many amazing views.

The laundry room

Here you can see the effects of the earthquake on the building and yet it still stands.

I would highly recommend a tour with Xenia. It was also fascinating to learn that many thousands of Americans have been moving to Portugal in the last couple of years due to a golden visa scheme many are digital nomads and invest in properties. While this is good for investment it has recently been stopped as it's hurting local people who struggle with lower salaries many only making 1000-2000 Euros a month and struggling to afford rent. Most folks can't afford to live in the Center but stay in High rise apartments on the outside of the city center. These are complex issues and with high inflation presently there have been recent protests by transport workers, teachers and others for better conditions and pay. 

Of course while in Portugal you must have a Pastel de nata a custard tart you can find these all over the city, one of our favorites was  Santo António R. do Milagre de Santo António 10, 1100-351 Lisboa, Portugal they are heavenly when warm. 

Another super cool area to visit is LX Factory a hip old factory area with shops, cafes and restaurants. 
We ate in The Therapist tasty and healthy options. We also had a dessert and coffee. 

Here is the address Address: R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-501 Lisboa, Portugal

After the first couple of days in Lisbon, we took a car, visited the Algarve for a night, and then drove to Sevilla in Spain and  Jerez de la Frontera to see an Andalusian horse show (this was Magic!) then back for a couple of nights in Monsaraz an ancient little hillside village in Portugal this place was really special. 

When we returned to Lisbon after being through rural areas and seeing the big picture Lisbon really grow on us. It's a city with a rich history and resilient friendly people, with a bright future. 

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Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Carrot Pilaf

This is a super easy recipe, and a fun way to use carrots, adding shredded carrots to rice is fun and adds nice flavor and color. 


  • 2 medium carrots grated
  • one cup of basmati rice 
  • 2 cups of water 
  • 1 tablespoon of Turkish spices (I got this from Penzeys)
  • one small zucchini chopped
  • 2 gloves of chopped garlic 
  • one small onion chopped
  • salt to taste 
  • a pinch of mustard seeds 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  1. sauce onion, garlic, mustard seeds in a little canola oil, with the zucchini for 5-7 min
  2. add the spices and garlic, salt to taste 
  3. then add the rice and 2 cups of water
  4. cook for about 15-20 min in a pan with a lid and try to keep the lid on.
  5. enjoy 

We just returned from a fun trip to Portugal and Spain a fun road trip taking in history, a Spanish horse show and so much more, stay tuned for blog posts!

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Monday, March 20, 2023

Roasted Vegetables

I have been really enjoying this recently, it's simply a medley of roasted cubed vegetables, you can use whatever is in season, its great as a side dish or for breakfast or lunch with a fried egg. 


  • 2 white potato cubed 
  • 2 sweet potato cubed 
  • 2 beetroot cubed 
  • 1/4 of a medium eggplant cubed 
  • a dash of Italian herbs 
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • about a tablespoon of olive oil 
  • about 1/4 of a teaspoon  of paprika and chipotle pepper 

1. cube the vegetables, with the beetroot using a glove is wise then boil them for about 15 min until soft
2. then add the veggies to a baking sheet with the oil and spices and bake at 425 for 15-20 until crispy.  

Happy spring everyone. 


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