Friday, 28 September 2012

Recipe: Stuffed peppers with sausage

There are recipes that I've known since childhood - recipes that my grandmother and mother cooked for us. I've continued to cook these in the same fashion, only to find that at some point, they get slightly boring.  Not bad, because they're still tried and tested, a staple -- but just a tad uneventful...
That's where the various sites on the internet come to the rescue - recipes that change one or more of the ingredients and pouf, a whole new world opens up.  Add to this that I twist the recipe anyway, and the end result may be miles away from the original, family recipe I had in mind.

That's how this recipe started:  My family always made peppers stuffed with minced meat and a bit of rice.  Excellent staple, great eaten warm or cold, and definitely welcome to children!  But there was this little nudge that I should try a combination that would use all those ingredients I keep in my pantry... So, in the end, to cut a long story short, I only kept the main ingredient:  the pepper!!! Everything else was modified, but the end result was so good, I think I'll start cooking these a lot more often than my mother's!!!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The Classics Club: The Quiet American

When I first read The Quiet American by Graham Greene, I was a teenager.  I studied the book for the Proficiency Diploma in English as a foreign language, and it served as material for the oral exam.  I was so impressed with its content, the descriptions of extraordinary situations, the conflict between nations, people and couples.  I considered it as one of the best novels I'd read (true, there hadn't been that many at that point), and I regarded it as a good example of classic literature. I decided to include the book in the Classics Club, because of these memories and because it had been 26 years ago - a good time to re-read a book one has loved.

Monday, 24 September 2012

New challenge: Pin it and Do it!

Calling all the crafty people out there:  October is the month to pick up your pans / needles / beads etc. and try out every idea you've pinned on Pinterest!

Trish will be hosting this pinteresting challenge, where everyone is invited to show their skills ( I can't imagine the exchange of ideas from all the bloggers...)

I've yet to decide which of my pins I will try to carry out, but they will certainly include cooking, knitting/cross-stitching and perhaps a bit of jewelry making (nothing extravagant you see...)

And yes, I admit it:  I am a Pinterest-aholic -  I will go for the 8+ level!

UPDATE:  I've created a board on Pinterest where all my pins for this challenge are listed (obviously, I will not be able to do them all... unfortunately..)

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Recipe: Mediterrenean chicken wraps

With autumn coming on fast, I thought it only appropriate to include one last recipe for those lazy, summer days.  Those days when the only thing I could master was to open the fridge, look what was inside and try to make do with what I had to compose an easy, fast, summery dish that would be just perfect!
One, of course, can never go wrong with a wrap - the quintessential summer eat.  I use wraps with all types of ingredients and I couldn't be happier that I can satisfy my taste buds within minutes:

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

The Classics Club: The Frogs (Bάτραχοι)

The idea of the Classics Club is to read or re-read all those gems of literature that have had an important effect on readers throughout the centuries.  
Among the works I chose, I took this opportunity to also visit the ancient Greek plays, having only studied the serious, philosophical prose at school.  
I read the The Frogs (Βάτραχοι) by Aristophanes, heralded as one of the major playwriters in Athens, whose works were actually considered teaching material - this play won first place at one of the festivals of Dionysus.  I also decided to read it in the original, to feel every nuance of the words used...

Monday, 17 September 2012

The Classics Club: my favourite review

For September, the Classics Club's question is slightly more difficult:  from the reviews already published on the blog, pick the one that gets me excited to read the book in question, and offer a quote that will demonstrate this.

Why this is not easy?  Because in all the reviews I read and the blogs I follow, I always find something that will intrigue me, something that will show a new aspect to a plot, that will shine light to a part of (simingly) lesser importance.  Every time I read something, I'm bound to go and put yet another book in my TBR list...

Friday, 14 September 2012

Recipe: invitation to tea

I enjoy having friends over for tea (which may be coffee, of course!).  There is food involved, but in a totally different manner than a dinner:  no appetizers, first, mains, cheeses, desserts - all in a structured procedure, with precision as to their timing.  Plus, given that we are in the evening, I have to watch out that it's nothing too heavy (hint as to the age group I belong to...)

On the contrary, tea-time is early afternoon, so that people could even have had a light lunch beforehand.  Tea includes mostly finger food, that is available at the same time, and everyone can pick and choose as they please. While the original range includes different types of sandwiches, I'm always on the lookout for new ideas that will provide a little umph in our everyday lives:

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Άλμπατρος (Albatros)

During my summer holidays, I actually managed to run out of books to read (yes, it does happen even with the best estimations...) and I was briefly in a state of shock! 

Fortunately, my sister came to my rescue, recommending one of the books she had read, Άλμπατρος (Albatros) by Soti Triantafyllou.  What a little gem in the middle of all the heatwaves!  I was immediately and fully immersed in the book, in an England in the wake of the twentieth century, at a time when the class system and the British Empire start changing, while the two main characters, from the two extremes of the social classes make the courageous decision to abandon their fate and fight for people's rights.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Recipe: Southern Sisters recipes

A while back, I read Anne George's Murder Runs in the Family, a Southern Sisters mystery.  I was immediately hooked to that book not only because it is a rather interesting whodunnit, but also because it has wonderful twists everywhere: right between the shootings, the suicides and the murders, there would be cooking! 

I was really intrigued with this ability of the characters to maintain balance in life:  yes, there are serious things happening in their lives, they get to pursue dangerous criminals, they even risk their own lives at times.  Still, man has to eat:  food is  one of life's most pleasant delights, and the Southern Sisters make full use of this.  There are several dishes described in the book that make their days even better than they are with all the excitement.  I had an epiphany:  I would try some of these recipes myself.  I had not yet cooked any Southern cuisine, so, what better excuse than this book to inspire me?

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Classics Club: Gothic Fiction in October

October is a fine month for me:  the weather starts cooling down, the trees start changing colours, the sofa is all the more inviting for a nice cup of tea and a good book... With Haloween  approaching as well, it is truly a good time to combine all good things and read Gothic literature - step into the world of fantasy, witness unusual situations and see what happens...

Délaissé is organising a Gothic event for the Classics Club and I'm thrilled to participate as it will give me an opportunity to read two gothics I've had in my TBR list for a very, very long time: 


The mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe:

Ever since I heard it mentioned in The Jane Austen Book Club (of all places, and I'm not ashamed to say I actually liked this film) I've been intrigued to see what the whole fuss is about.  Délaissé actually lists several other books where Udolpho is mentioned which was a real surprise - I wouldn't have thought this to be such an innovative book.  Time to find out!

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier: 

The book made du Maurier a household name, and it still attracts new audience.  I want to read this book primarily because I want to try to see whether I can get the meaning of it (I've heard several comments on the plot) but also because I'm curious to see what (and if any) parallels there are with Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.

I'm ready for the suspense!

Monday, 3 September 2012

1Q84 - Book I

Even though I read mostly European literature, I am always on the lookout for works by authors outside it.  So when I saw that Dolce Belezza was organising the Japanese Literature challenge 6, I immediately registered and was excited about the works of literature I was to read:  I was really looking forward to uncovering new and old talents of that culture.

My choices for this challenge were primarily books recommended by friends and family, who knew my likes and dislikes.  Except for one:    Murakami's 1Q84, a trilogy that serves as an ode to Orwell's 1984.  I have to admit I had not heard of Murakami, but given the wide acceptance this book received, I was willing to try.  I bought the enormous tome of the first two books and started to read...



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