Friday, February 24, 2012

Chocolate piles / Mormane de ciocolata


I am not a great cook.  I'm not even young, but rather in the youth of maturity (or in plain language, I'm about to turn 50).  My children tease me that 30 minutes is the longest time I have ever spent in the kitchen to whip up a meal - healthy, somewhat tasty, but without the WOW factor!  And when it comes to desserts - well, we either have one of my mother's three types of cakes, or whatever looked appealing in the sweets store.  Not that they've complained -I am blessed with two amazing and loving children-, but I've always felt guilty of depriving them of memories of a house filled with the smell of something good simmering on the stove or basking in the oven (a scene that I've read so often about in books and longed for, myself sometimes).  
Nu gatesc bine.  Nu sunt nici macar tanara, cu toate ca spun ca ma aflu la tineretea varstei a doua (sau, in limbaj simplu, sunt pe cale sa implinesc 50 de ani).  Copii mei ma tachineaza ca nu am stat pana acum mai mult de 30 minute in bucatarie ca sa pregatesc o cina - sanatoasa, oarecum gustoasa, dar fara a fi Minunata!  Iar cand vine vorba de desert - ei bine, am avut parte fie de una dintre cele trei variante de prajituri pe care le facea mama, sau ceva ce ni s-a parut interesant la cofetarie.  Nu ca s-au plans vreodata - de fapt, sunt binecuvantata cu doi copii minunati si iubitori-, dar m-am simtit vinovata ca nu le-am putut crea amintirea unei case inundata de mirosul apetisant a ceva bun ce fierbe lent pe aragaz sau se coace in cuptor (o scena despre care am citit de atatea ori in carti si pe care mi-am dorit-o si eu la un moment dat). 

As my schedule has now become less hectic, one of my New Year's resolutions was to diversify our meals and adventure into the world of cooking - entrees, main meals, desserts, whatever.  So, these past weeks I've been 'researching' (that is - surfing) the internet for treats for my family and friends.  Now, don't expect too much - I seem to still be attracted to easy, quick and healthy recipes -, but at least I've ventured into a new domain - home-made desserts!  That's how I discovered Michael's site Inspired By Charm and his deliciously-looking Poop Cookies!  Since I didn't have the exact ingredients he'd used, I thought, what the heck, since it's adventure time, let's improvise!  So here's what I've come up with - chocolate piles! 
Din moment ce viata mea a devenit mai putin agitata in ultima vreme. in Noul An mi-am dorit sa diversific meniul familiei mele si sa ma aventurez in lumea gatitului - antreuri, feluri principale, deserturi, si asa mai departe.  Asa ca in ultimele saptamani m-am 'documentat' pe internet.  Nu va asteptati la prea multe - sunt inca atrasa de retetele usoare, rapide si sanatoase -, dar macar m-am avantat intr-un domeniu nou - deserturi facute in casa!  Asa am descoperit site-ul lui Michael Inspired By Charm si minunatele sale bombonele Poop Cookies!  Din moment ce nu aveam ingredientele pe care le folosise el, m-am gandit ca, ce mai, daca-i timpul pentru aventura, hai sa improvizez!  Si iata ce am creat - mormane de ciocolata!

What I did:
Ce am facut:


For the White Chocolate Piles
Pentru Mormane Albe de Ciocolata

Broke into small pieces a bar of 100 gr white chocolate
Am rupt in bucatele un baton de 100gr ciocolata alba
Mixed together 5 tablespoons of raisins, 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds (not roasted) and 1 tablespoon of  plain wheat flakes
Am amestecat 5 linguri de stafide cu 2 linguri de seminte de floarea soarelui (ne-prajite) si 1 lingura de fulgi de secara
Then, I melted the chocolate pieces on a double boiler system (on the stove, put a small pan on top of a larger one half-filled with hot water)
Apoi am topit ciocolata in bain-marie (pe foc, am pus o cratita mica intr-una mai mare umpluta pe jumatate cu apa fierbinte)
When melted, and while still on the stove, I folded in the raisins mix
Am amestecat ciocolata topita cu amestecul cu stafide 
And finally, with a teaspoon, I put pieces of the mixture on a plate covered with baking paper
Si apoi, cu o lingurita, am luat din amestec si l-am pus in gramajoare pe o farfurie acoperita cu hartie pentru copt
Then, into the fridge to cool.  Simple and quick!
Iar la final, le-am pus in frigider ca sa se raceasca.  Simplu si rapid!

And, since I also had some dark chocolate and walnuts in the house, I did another batch:
Si, deoarece mai aveam niste ciocolata neagra si nuci prin casa, am mai facut un rand: 

Dark Chocolate and Walnuts Piles
Mormane de Ciocolata Neagra si Nuci
200 gr dark chocolate
200 gr ciocolata neagra
50 gr walnuts, roasted in the oven and then chopped
50 gr nuci, rumenite in cuptor si apoi taiate in bucati potrivite
fold in the walnuts into the melted chocolate
amestecat nucile cu ciocolata topita
spoon the mixture onto a plate covered with baking paper.
pus amestecul in gramajoare pe o farfurie acoperita cu hartie pentru copt.

In 30 minutes, I had a delicious, healthy and good looking dessert!
In 30 de minute, am un desert delicios, sanatos si aratos!
 Hope you'll enjoy making and eating them too, and, specially, that you won't wait until you turn 50 to make time to explore and enjoy the small pleasures in life! 
Sper ca va veti bucura si voi sa-l faceti si sa-l savurati, si, mai ales, ca nu veti astepta pana la 50 de ani ca sa va faceti timp sa explorati si sa va bucurati de micile placeri ale vietii!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Flori de vara / Summer flowers



pictura in acrilic, panza pe carton, dimensiune 30 x 40 cm
acrylic painting, canvas on cardboard, size 30 x 40 cm



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Afara - zapada, vant, frig / Outside - snow, wind, cold


Inca o saptamana de zapada!  Mi se pare ca am avut mai multa zapada decat in ultimele trei ierni laolalta, vanturi puternice care par a fi scoase din basmul Craiasa Zapezii, si temperaturi atat de scazute incat cred ca acum sunt antrenata sa merg in Siberia!  Cel putin acum, dupa inca doua zile de ninsoare aproape fara oprire, s-a mai incalzit un pic si azi a iesit soarele dintre nori pentru cateva ore.  Am avut impresia ca a fost o zi de odihna - ca sa ne tragem sufletul, sa ne deszapezim cararile, sa luam legatura cu vecinii si prietenii, sa facem schimb de experiente, sa ne intarim pentru ceea ce mai urmeaza.
Va doresc zile senine si nu uitati:  Chiar si-n zilele proaste exista momente bune!  Cauta-le!

Another week with snow!  It seems we've had more snow lately than in the past three winters put together, strong winds that seemed like the blizzards in the Snow Queen fairy tale, and temperatures so low that I think I'm now prepared to go to Siberia!  At least now, after another two days of almost continuous snowfall, we are having better temperatures and today the sun came out of the clouds for a few hours.  It felt like a day of rest - to catch our breaths, clear our paths, connect with our neighbors and friends to exchange experiences, and buckle up for whatever's coming next.  
Wishing you serenity in the days to come, and don't forget:






Sunday, February 12, 2012

Acasa, la caldurica / Home, where it's warm

Cutie din lemn vopsita cu culori acrilice / 
Wooden box hand painted with acrylics

Cutie din lemn vopsita cu culori acrilice si decorata cu trandafiri uscati drept amintire a verii/
Wooden box hand painted with acrylics and decorated with dried roses as a reminder of summer

Cutie din lemn pictata cu culori acrilice si decorata prin tehnica decoupage /
Wooden box painted with acrylics and decorated with decoupage

Cutie din lemn pictata cu culori acrilice si decorata prin tehnica servetelului - perfecta pentru pastrarea si etalarea colectiei de ceaiuri /
Wooden box painted with acrylics and decorated with the napkin technique - perfect for keeping and displaying a tea collection

Iata ce am mai facut in timp ce afara continua sa ninga ...
This is what I've been doing while outside it continues to snow ...