Cooking and recipes

Making Zacuska and the importance of preserving traditions


I grew up in Romania in communist times. Back then, autumn was associated with making preserves, pickles of all sorts, making spreads for winter-time. The whole activity would start in August and end in October or early November. I remember our "enclosed balcony" having rows of shelves full of colourful jars of various colours and shapes. The staircase of the block of flats I lived in was full of yummy smells ... everybody was cooking...... this was our normality. I doubt much of this is happening nowadays as buying ready-made products is something imported from the West and many Romanians, like those in the West, have adopted the practice -but I might be wrong. I am sure that in the countryside the traditions are preserved but not that much in the towns. But my short post is not about the past, but about the now.

I started to make Zakuska only a few years ago ... out of curiosity, out of a longing for the taste that was so familiar to me - and I missed that taste a lot. 

There are lots of recipes for Zakuska that one can follow - some families even had their secret recipes passed down to them from generation to generation. I have followed quite a few recipes over the years simply out of curiosity but this year's is, I think,  my favourite. It is nicely written on a special recipe card and I am sure I will make it many times. Today I've made it for the third time this season. Why? Because I like it, because I like to cook it and gift it to my friends .....and because I like to make small batches. 

So, here we go ..this is what you need


1 kg onions

4 kg aubergines (grilled and peeled) approximately 2 kg of aubergine pulp 

1 kg red bell peppers 

2-3 garlic cloves

1  big grated carrot

150 ml sunflower oil

1 small cup of water 

This is a making process that you can start in one day and finish the next one - so do not hurry.

First of all you need to grill the whole peppers until the colour of the skin is black. Once grilled put them in a plastic bag and let them cool down. Once they are cool it will be easy to peel them.. Click on the link to have a clearer picture.

Next it is the turn of the aubergines. If you are lucky and you have an ethnic food shop in your area you might be lucky to find aubergines that are already roasted in a nice jar. If you don't, it's time to follow the same process as the bell peppers ... you need to grill them until the skin is black just like in this image. Once they cool down you should peel off the black skin and save the yummy middle in a sieve. Stand them for half an hour and then start chopping them both finely. Aubergines are key for this recipe of Zakuska. 

Now it's time for the onions ... chop them finely or use an electric chopper. Set them aside. Do the same for the garlic. 

At this stage you can pat yourself on the shoulder as the hard work is done. Take a big pot, add the sunflower oil, chopped aubergine, grated carrot, chopped red bell pepper, chopped onions, put them on a stove and stir for about 10 minutes. After that,  add the cup of water and put the pot in the oven at about 150 degrees celsius for about 3-4 hours stirring from time to time.

After that, scoop the content into glass jars and you are done. Put the lid on .... and you can start eating ... spread on a piece of bread, as a dip with vegetables, on top of pasta, added to casseroles ... there are endless possibilities.



From a verdant garden in Grenada - My attempt to be as brilliant as an Aloe Vera plant - making a delicious carrot and apple flavoured juice from an Aloe Vera leaf


Once upon a time (about three years ago) I took part in a tiny craft fair in a location recommended by a friend  .... I decided in advance that for the very first time I would present my own hand made soaps - and one of these would be my own Aloe Vera soap. During the event, on a very hot weekend day, in full sun, in a pretty but airless scented rose garden, I kept asking myself why I had agreed to take part in such an event ... anyway ... I forgot that everything is for a reason - that I was going to have my answer in a couple of hours........... Just before the end of the fair an elderly, well mannered lady in a pretty floral dress approached me ........and proceeded to ask me about my love of making soaps, and about my Aloe Vera soap in particular.... After getting to know each other a bit, out of the blue she asked me if... I would like to have an Aloe Vera plant as a gift from her.

A few days later, in her lovely top-floor flat overlooking the tree lined Eastbourne Golf Club fairways, the conversation took us to our stories......and to stories of her younger days when, together with her husband, she had "arrived" in the West Indies ... sailing a catamaran, from Island to Island (as those of  certain way do)... simply enjoying life to the full. While ashore on the Island of Grenada they discovered that a new friend, a local family, were having a home built in a huge, naturally abundant garden overlooking the blue ocean.....and, naturally an invitation was forthcoming to see it .... as there was another building plot in the same green, verdant garden site available, next to their new friends .... so, why not, they were footloose, free spirited, so of course they bought the plot, slowly built a garden home from local materials and then spent many many years there. I loved her stories about the garden, so full of exotic plants, including the many many Aloe Vera which had earned the reputation among locals for being absolutely amazing in terms of medicinal properties, something she and her family then experienced during their long years surrounded by the best GP they ever had -  Aloe Vera. 

Years later, there she was on the balcony in Eastbourne, a lovely Aloe Vera plant, itself a daughter of her Grenada Island garden mother .......and together with Peter we received her into our own family along with a happy soul full of stories, of beautiful memories of life in Grenada that most of us can only dream of (before understanding that at that time in their young lives all they had was a boat and their own dream). Our lovely Aloe Vera plant had also become a mother - she had three babies growing in the pot alongside her, babies who are now living their own lives in the homes of three of my dear friends. Each time I visit them I "visit" them.....loving to see their progress.

As many of you know, I love experimenting with new food recipes. So, yesterday, I decided to try and make .... Aloe Vera juice from my very own plant. Over the years of course I had bought Aloe Vera juice from a dear friend who had built a Forever Living practice but I wondered if I could find a recipe and make my own....... Youtube is a great teacher !!!... there are so many videos that teach you everything you need to know about this and that. So, Peter learned how to carefully harvest a few leaves so as not to harm the plant and I went on a research phase for recipes. It was a team effort all the way and we both enjoyed it a lot! Before showing you a step by step process, let me tell you that you can also buy individual Aloe Vera leaves from ethnic shops - three years ago I bought my first Aloe Vera leaf from an Iranian shop in Eastbourne. I am sure if you check on line you can outsource one or two locally. From them you can make a batch of basic juice and freeze it safely.

Here are the steps

1. Harvest just a few leaves with a sharp, really really clean knife, not too many leaves in relation to the size of the plant, working from the bottom of the plant, using the opportunity to remove imperfect leaves, if any.  


2. Put the cut leaves into a big bucket of water, with the cut end facing down into the bucket - for 15 to 20 minutes. Why? Because you need to naturally release and remove any yellow liquid, a laxative like no other so be careful. 



3. Remove the spiky edges of the leaves by carefully sliding the knife along the edge of the leaf just as if you were de-spiking a fresh fish (but really simple instead), and cut-off the narrow tips of the leaves, to leave a liquid full, fat leaf, ready for skinning - oooooh! 


4. Now peel the leaves with a kitchen "potato" peeler, catching the top or bottom of the leaf in the peeler and pulling down, all the way to the other end - just like peeling an orange in one go. 



5. What will remain is a beautiful clear gel, an extraordinary, very slippery gel "fish". Put the gel into a fresh pot of water, making sure before you do that any remaining bits of the outer green leaves are all removed.

6. Put the Aloe Vera in a blender with just a little bit of water and wiz it until the content is really smooth. 


7. I have seen quite a few different approaches from this step forward .... some people put the blended juice through a sieve (this is what I did as well) - this way you obtain a nice, clear juice. 


8. This step is again for you to enjoy and to be creative. I added about half a carrot and half an apple and wizz it again. The result is really really delicious. I will mix the Aloe Vera juice with cucumber next time and blueberries, raspberries ... there are endless possibilities. 



Keep the blended juice in the fridge (it is really lovely when cool) and enjoy in small quantities at a time, a glass the size of an egg cup - Enjoy! 

Let's make some elderberry syrup today


As you know, one of my favourite happy, peaceful ways of putting a nice wall between myself and uncertainty is by engaging with creativity. So I have been regularly picking up my journal and I have been allowing my hand to release my tensions through intuitive drawing.. and I am writing in my daily gratitude journal and filling in a few more pages from my creativity workbook...........But I have other ways as well of sealing myself off from the world for a time - yum yum, glug glug!


By eclectic cooking, trying my hand, mouth and taste buds at making all sorts of exciting foody things .......including trying my hand at things my distant family used to conjure up from nature's larder - berries, mushrooms, fruits that I would gaze at on the kitchen table with amazement before they were subjected to the magic hands of my grandmother or aunt or cousin - and even more so after the first mouth full of whatever came out of their cooking pot! 



So, what did I decide to make this time that would be exciting and evocative in so many ways - a batch of ... elderberry syrup. I discovered this years ago while visiting my Russian relatives. It always used to amuse me when opening my aunt's and cousin's fridges to see them full of jars of forest fruits prepared in all sorts of ways ... fresh ones with sugar on top, juices, syrups, amazing. And I remember that on my two day journey through Russia, Ukraine, Moldavia and Romania... by train ... back to Bucharest I had a sort of "can't wait to get home feeling" because some of those jars were in my luggage! Sweet memories (literally and metaphorically).... I wish I had more memories of those times ... I wish .... 

But, back to the elderberries .... my relatives, like many other Russians had, and still have I am sure,.. a deep connection with wild life, the forests and the gifts one has from the forests at different times of the year. They could tell which plant heals what, which berry is safe to eat and which one it wasn't, which mushroom is good to eat, pickle, cook and which one isn't!  That knowledge was transferred from generation to generation. 

So here I am, years later, preparing one of those syrups ... remembering with a warm feeling my Russian roots. 

What do you need to make it? Here it is:

3 1/2 cups water

2/3 cup dried elderberries 

2 tbsp grated ginger

1-2 tsp cinnamon 

1/2 tsp ground cloves 

1 cup raw honey (or a bit less .... it's up to you) 

First, pour the water into a saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, cloves. Bring to boil, cover, reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, let it cool, mash the berries carefully using a spoon. Pour through a strainer in a jar or bowl, discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool a bit. You are almost there ... add the honey, stir nicely and pour the liquid into a jar or glass bottle. When it is cold, store it in the fridge. Take 1 tbsp every day, add it to the top of your porridge, or pancakes, or a biscuit. It is really lovely I can tell you that. It is said that it also helps strengthen the immune system so why not prepare some? .....  Glug glug! oooooh.



Seeded bread healthy wheat free sugar free recipe

As promised in my previous blog ... here it is ... the recipe of a seeded bread which reminded me of times long gone .... 


300 g mixed seeds (flax, sunflower, pumpkin, poppy seeds ... )

100 g ground almond 

50g chia seeds 

50 g walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts (grind them all in a blender)

1/2 tsp sea salt and pepper 

3 large eggs beaten 

200 ml water

Step 1

Now that you have all the ingredients in front of you ... simply mix them all together (I placed the seeds and nuts in a blender and blitzed them together), added the eggs, stirred them until the composition looked smooth and started to add, gradually, water while continuing to stir. What you will end up with is a thick mixture. 

Almost there

Transfer the batter to a loaf tin (grease it first) and bake it in the oven for about 1 hour at 200 degrees celsius. Remove from the oven. allow it to cool fully and ... serve. Keep it in an airtight container and ... slice it and start munching... oooooh, lovely.

Well done


Baking super seeded bread today and a story of resilience


It's a lovely, cold but sunny spring day ... it feels like the very first day of spring .....and boy oh boy is nature coming to life in my part of the world, on the south coast of England overlooking the sea. So it's great, when not a lot positive is in the news, to see carpets of yellows, reds, violets, oranges and so many more shades of colour in various corners of my town and its public gardens. So after a brisk walk by the beach I decided to bake again(for the second time this week) ...this time a loaf of super seed bread. Let me tell you from the start ... I am not a baker, I've never been interested in baking before, but recently, because I want to go on a wheat free, sugar free diet I decided to be adventurous, to cook all sorts of unusual (for me) dishes. It is a great place to experiment, to be adventurous .... the kitchen! 

The recipe I decided to try comes from the Low-Carb Cookbook by David Cavan and Emma Porter but ... as always, I've changed the recipe a bit given that this is my second attempt at making it. 

Whenever I cook I love to have a movie in the background and .... thanks to the iPad I am able to watch almost whatever I want, almost whenever I want. In the background today I had a lovely movie ... The Million Pound Note starring Gregory Peck (watch it .. it's lovely)

But before sharing with you the recipe, let me tell you a story, a story that involves seeded bread, (my mother used to call it German bread), the second world world, Russia, and my mother, a story the baking of seeded bread triggered. The second world war had a devastating impact on many nations, many families, including my own. Imagine you are 6 year old, living with your family in a tiny village called Besedka in Russia (the village does not exist anymore ... it was re-claimed by nature a long time ago and is now a forest) about 100 Km south of Moscow, on the WW2 Eastern Front.

Imagine that your family has been thrown out of their house to make space for German officers who, together with their soldiers, had occupied the village. My mother seldom spoke much about those times .. it was too painful for her and like many people of her generation she kept those memories deeply buried in her mind ...yet.. those times had put an indelible imprint on her life, the way she looked at people and much more. One of the very few things she told me about those times was that .. the German officer in charge of the occupation of her village was really kind ... he was chubby, loved playing the harmonica, loved children (apparently he missed his own kids) and was often found gifting the children of the village (including my mother) little pieces of German seeded bread which my mother said was absolutely delicious, moist and beautifully wrapped. For children who had very few things to eat ... that bread was pure heaven. But that memory was the only nice thing she was able to tell me about that time. Sometime in 1944/1945 when that same chubby, smiling village officer received his orders to start their retreat, he gave orders to burn all the houses in the village, including our family home.

I can't repeat what happened in our neighbouring village where none of the villagers survived their occupation because "their" occupier left after not only burning the village but also killing the people. Human nature was .... is ....can be ......why is it so? Anyway, here I am ... so, so, many years later ... baking this bread with a bitter sweet feeling - feeling real gratitude for my own life .... but remembering the story it unexpectedly triggered, one that has clearly left a big imprint on me as well as my mother - because it found it's own way from my deepest memory into my consciousness ...... We are complex beings with all sorts of memories, our own and our inherited ones. Now ... let's get back to business ... and see what are the ingredients ... to be continued ... click here 



About wheat free, sugar free blueberry muffin and a touch of love


Ok so another rainy day in Eastbourne! It is probably the wettest winter /spring  I've experienced since I came to England, years ago. It simply doesn't stop for more then a few hours and then, you really need to get ready, get dressed and sprint outside the house for a bit of fresh air, vitamin D and a brisk walk in between another curtain of rain. But ... this is another story for another day .... today we are talking about .. muffins ... and not any kind of muffins but wheat free and sugar free ... healthy? you bet! 


Because a member of my family cannot indulge in sugary products anymore, I am suddenly aware that ... in shops there are hardly any alternative products one can buy. It is not something I am complaining about ... at all ... it is a simple observation, one that made me become a researcher and experimenter in the kitchen (a bit more than I am usually). I am not a fan of muffins and never have been ... it is not something that I grow up with and I can count the muffins I've had in England on my 5 fingers but .... now ... I came across an interesting recipe .... muffins with a twist and ... my curiosity made me ... try it. I can tell you that the result is pretty good, that I will do it again and that my husband liked it a lot. 


Here are the ingredients 


3 eggs 

100 grams ground almonds

50ml milk (any type of milk) 

1/2 tbsp coconut flour

1/2 tsp orange peel grind or lemon 

100 - 150 grams fresh blueberries or raspberries or a combination of the two 

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger 


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Beat the eggs, add the ground almonds, add the milk, add the coconut flour, orange peel grind or lemon grind, cinnamon, ginger and the fruits carefully not to break them. 

If you have paper cases, put them in a muffin tin and start spooning the mixture into them. If you don't, first grease  the 12 hole muffin tin and after that spoon the mixture. 

See, it is really simple. 

Next, put the muffin tin in the oven, make yourself a cup of tea and coffee and 20 minutes later, the muffins are ... done. Remove them from the oven, allow to cool and start eating them or store them in an airtight container until later. 

I have to say that the taste is really good and it works very well with a cup of tea or coffee. You can also eat it with a tsp of yogurt on top or more fresh fruits including a few slices of apples. If you don't have a problem with sugar, you can add a teaspoon of honey. 

Given that one can hardly find something sugar free to buy while enjoying a cup of coffee in town, you can definitely take one muffin in your bag and ... enjoy it in a new environment :) 

Beetroot soup and what does it have to do with resilience

What happens when a member of your family needs to change their eating habits? Quite a lot of things really .... We all snack ... salami slices, cedar cheese slices, French fries, chocolates, cakes, all sorts of crisps and other yummy things we are so used to having in the fridge. It is part of our normality and  we don't even know how it is to live without them. Habits have very deep roots ... very, very deep. So .... overnight ... by, by salamis, by by salty olives and so on .... the fridge looks really empty and ... you have to start to rethink your eating patterns. Easy? Hard?... both!

So of course me being me, I went to Waterstones and bought a special cookbook ... low carb, sugar free ... perfect ... I have a starting point! Luckily for me ... I love cooking and ... I love cooking in particular new things ... I love new recipes ... so this is really not hard for me. The difficulty comes with the taste ....yes .... our taste buds are so so used to the strong sugary flavours and also salty ones ...

What I do know is  that for a while .. food will seem a bit strange and it will take time to adjust ......  but also, I am delighted to try new flavours and I know that some are going to be delicious. 

The first delicious recipe I want to share with you is ... Beetroot and cauliflower soup .... (I love beetroot and you will find in my previous blogs another beetroot soup recipe .. but different). The taste is not only lovely but the colour is strong, uplifting, full of positive vibes (yep ... I do believe that when you cook with love ... the food tastes better and also ... when in the background you have great music ... it is really, really fab) 

Here we go ... 


1 tsp olive oil 

2-3 garlic cloves chopped

1 onion

2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp turmeric 

1.5 - 2 tsp cumin (it's up to you)

3-4 raw beetroots - peeled and sliced

1/2 cauliflower head 

750 ml vegetable stock or chicken stock

a bit of salt, a bit of pepper .. maybe chilli if you like it

400 ml coconut milk (I only added 250 ml but again ... it's up to your taste)

The method is really easy .... heat the olive oil, add the garlic, onion, fry for 3 minutes, add the spices, beetroots and cauliflower and fry for 4 minutes while stirring continuously. Almost there  ... add the stock, salt pepper, chilli, cover with a lid and let everything simmer for 30-40 minutes. Remove from the stove, allow them to cool for 20-30 minutes and using a blender, blitz the soup until it is smooth. Next ... return to the pan .... add the coconut milk and stir. Once it is bubbling nicely ... you know you are done ... you can start serving. I liked it with a teaspoon of sour cream and a bit of lemon juice and ... a slice of seed bread .... yum yum indeed. I will also post the recipe of the seed bread in a future blog as it is easy to make and it is pretty tasty. Enjoy your soup and ... yes resilience ... we all need to be resilient in many aspects of our lives  ... we build it up in many ways ... for example ... in saying no to things we like but .. are not good for us anymore. It is sometimes hard but .... it can be done! Be resilient! 

How to make turmeric gold and break habits


I could tell you that I am on a healthy lifestyle path and I came across the turmeric gold which is the best thing ever. This will be a lie. I came across the turmeric gold (the recipe you will find below) thanks to an on line course I've been enrolled in for the past 6 months, a course with Carrie Anne Moss, a course called Fierce Grace Collective. You can find out more about it at Annapurna Living website. 

It is true that I have tried to prepare for Peter a turmeric tea (using tea bags) in the spring and he absolutely hated it. Seeing his reaction I had no desire to try it myself so I continued to drink my beloved PG tips a few times a day, even late in the evening. I know for sure that this is clearly a habit ... a habit I would like to break. 

So when this month Carrie Anne showed us how to make turmeric gold ... I have decided to give it a try ... it looked really interesting, the colour is gorgeous  ... strong yellow but also some shades of amber  .....the whole process of making it ... magical .... 

After one failed attempt (yes I was way too impatient and skipped a few steps) two days ago I did my first batch of turmeric paste and ... my first cup of turmeric gold drink ... and I really love it! And who knows .... you might also like it! 

Here we go ... what you need .... 


Turmeric paste

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup turmeric powder 
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil

Put the hot water on the stove, add the turmeric and start stirring it patiently for about 7 to 9 minutes until you will see a thick paste formed, the consistency of a thick sour cream.Turn off the heat and stir 1/4 cup of coconut oil. Stir until everything is incorporated in the mix.  Put it in a airtight container, maybe a glass jar and store it in the fridge. 

Golden Milk 


  • 1 cup of milk (any type ... cow milk, almond milk, oats milk, rice milk) 
  • 1 tsp turmeric paste
  • pinch of cinnamon and 1 stick of cinnamon as well 
  • pinch of pepper 
  • 1 star anise 
  • 1 tsp of honey or less (it's up to you and your taste) 

Put all of these ingredients in a pot, bring it to boil and ... done ... pour it in a mug, grab a book and ... enjoy! 

How to make a traditional Russian beetroot soup and a healthy energy bar


We live in a world where cookery books seem like travel books - glamorous images of fresh vegetables and captivating words about the magical ingredients in the sauces are everywhere. As someone who has self-published books on creative subjects I know all too well the amount of effort that goes behind the production of a single book. And when that book has lots of beautiful, colourful photos the publishing process takes even longer and the time and effort involved producing it is truly incredible especially if you are doing it yourself. Small armies of people work behind  the scenes in publishing companies in order to launch these books. But I am not going to talk to you about the production of books. Not now! What I want to say is that .. today's cookery books are beautifully created and they deserve the eminence of coffee table books. 

Sadly, the large numbers of incredibly eye pleasing cookery books does not mean that people cook more on a daily basis. People seem happy to buy colourful cookery books, seem happy to watch fancy cookery programs, while munching on crisps and pop corn.............  We live in a more and more voyeuristic world!    It feels increasingly like we are going to the cinema to watch people ... cook!


Years ago, while growing up in Romania, I remember we had two cookery books in our small flat...two books filled with black and white.....text ... no images ... none whatsoever. In spite of that or maybe because of that ... who knows ... there was always activity in our kitchen, my mother chopping vegetables, chopping meat, boiling, frying, cooking all sorts of lovely dishes without using loads of ingredients, with few spices. Yet, every day, day in, day out, after she returned from work, she always seemed able to produce tasty and healthy meals, every day ... I will always remember the yummy  smells reaching me in my bedroom across the hall. 

Believe it or not, cooking or preparing most of what you eat is not just about cooking it is also about relaxing and slowing down is about sharing stories of the day around the kitchen table, about listening and about communicating in a warm and healing space, about being mindful ... there  we are ... the word so many people worship nowadays.  

The other day, on a very, very hot summer day I just felt the need to cook a traditional Russian beetroot soup. It is the type of a dish I remember enjoying when I visited my Russian family in Saint Petersburg and Orel. It is easy to make, delicious and healthy. 

Here is what you need to do:

Prepare the ingredients:

2 medium size beetroots peeled and grated

1 carrot peeled and grated 

1 onion peeled and chopped 

1 tomato diced 

4 small potatoes peeled and chopped 

2 litres of boiling water 

1 Knorr cube

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 grated cabbage

1 squeeze of lemon juice or more depending on your taste 

2 bay leaves

3 garlic cloves crushed 

1 table spoon olive or sunflower oil 


Now for the preparation: 

There's not much to do really. Just heat the olive or sunflower oil in a cooking pot, add the onion, sautee the onion for a few minutes, add the carrots, beetroots, potatoes. Sautee the lot for a further 10 minutes, add the bay leaves and the garlic.....then add the boiling water and then the cabbage and the tomatoes. Next ... nothing ... simply let it simmer on a low heat for about 1 hour and it's done. Enjoy it with a dollop or two of sour cream. Sour cream is a very popular addition to many dishes in Russia and I love it. 

I was never very good at cooking deserts, the type that my mother used to prepare, so any time I come across something sweet that I feel I can prepare, something that does not require the oven ... I am ready to have a go at it. 

The other day I came across something called Three Ingredients Energy Bar .....and of course I had to have a go. The result is not only pleasing .. it is really delicious and goes very, very well with a cup of Turkish coffee or tea. 


So, here is the recipe;



1 cup of almonds

1 cup of dates

1 cup of dried cherries 

....that's all

Put all of the ingredients together in a mixer, pulse until they are all mixed and chopped finely. Next, place the mixture on a plastic sheet or a non stick sheet of cooking paper, spread it evenly (use a roller), cover with another sheet of non stick paper and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take it out, cut it in squares and store the pieces in an air tight container, in the fridge. They will last for a few good weeks (less the one's consumed two days!!). You can of course make them in the shape of small balls if you want. 

They look very nice if you add some cocoa powder on top. The truth is that you can be very creative with this type of recipe and start making your own combinations using sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried apricots, raisins, raw cocoa and of course much more. 







About green, the heart and a soup

I am an artist! Colours mean a lot to me ... they heal, nurture, talk to me .... they call me and not the other way round. Green is not at all a colour I use in abundance in my paintings .. on the contrary .. and it is the same with my clothes ... up until 2 days you couldn't have found anything green in my wardrobe. But things have changed ...... 2 days ago I've felt an intense need for green in various shades ... so I have now a baggy green summer dress, Turkish trousers, a funky bag .... and yesterday I felt the need to cook ... a green soup ... all of this out of nowhere ... but was it really out of nowhere? Nope! I've realised that ... a year ago to the day.... .. my mother was leaving this Earthly dimension ... it was a blessing ... a big blessing for her... 

So ..... GREEN ..... I did a bit of research and green actually corresponds to the HEART chakra .... it's all about UNCONDITIONAL LOVE ... it is also the colour associated to my astrological sign .... 

Coincidence? Oh no ... I don't think so ... it's a sign ... a sign from the other side ... at least this is how I want to interpret it. Believe what you want to believe .... this is what you would hear me telling you time and time again if I were to know you in person. 

So ... I cooked a GREEN SOUP ... listened to Russian music (yes..... my mother was Russian)) ... and celebrated her departure ... celebrated my belief in reincarnation and my heartfelt wish for her to have a better and more exciting new life. 

And now .. here is the recipe just I case you might want to cook my green soup as well ... and a link to beautiful Gypsy Russian music. 


Green Spinach and broccoli soup 

200 grams spinach leaves

1 small broccoli head (do chop it guys)

2 tsp butter or sunflower oil

2 leaks chopped

1 big onion chopped

2 garlic cloves

3 small carrots

a handful of parsley and lovage if you have 

1 chicken stock cube

1 litter of water 

juice of 1 small lemon 

salt, pepper, a pinch of paprika and a pinch of turmeric powder 

Add sour cream in your plate and freshly cut chives from the garden. 

Soups are the easiest thing in the world to make ... just melt the butter in a pan, ad the chopped vegetables, cook over low heat, add the water, stock cube, bring to boil and simmer for about 25 minutes.

Puree everything , add the lemon juice, salt and pepper and simply enjoy with a slice of cheese on toast .... and then,  put your feet up and watch a mesmerising gypsy music and dancing concert!