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Montmorency Waterfalls – Québec City

7 Jan

Although the cold was harsh, the sceneries were breathtaking. It’s amazing and wonderful what nature can leave after snowy storms. We enjoyed our trip to the waterfalls and took beautiful pictures. I would also want to see Québec city and Montmorency waterfalls during the summer and autumn, I bet it’s marvelous in a different form.

  

Some views from Park Mont-Royal.

  

 

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Traits of Istanbul..

22 May
The Chora church

The Chora church

Dried fish

Dried fish

Lahmacun

Ortaköy

Bursa

Kiz Kulesi

Halka lokma tarifi, delicious sweets

Princes’ Islands

Hagia Triada Greek Orthodox Church

Hebeliada Island

DSC_0507 DSC_0103 DSC_0194 DSC_0425 DSC_0621 DSC_0699

Cheese Pide

Cheese Pide

Character of a Quartier

1 Apr

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Another Trip to Istanbul

28 May

Again, last week I went to Istanbul, but that time accompanied with my husband. I wanted him to see how beautiful is Istanbul. We visited the touristical and historical sites of course and new ones too, for me. We stayed at Taksim square, walked along the Istiklal street many times, had dinner and lunches there. We visited Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, the amazing palace Dolmabahçe. The Spice Bazaar and Grand Bazaar. We crossed the Bosphorus to the Asian Side. We spent a couple of days in Sultanahmat… in restaurants, cafés, touring and shopping.

We took the ferry to the Prince’s Islands, reached the last, fourth one and stayed there a couple of hours, had some picnic-lunch by the sea. We rented bicycles and toured the calm, nice streets of the island.

We walked alot. Ate alot. Drank alot of turkish tea. Laughed alot and enjoyed our time . I won’t mind going back to Istanbul one more time. Life seems easy there, people, tourists everywhere, at anytime of the day, at noon or midnight, it’s the same. Whenever you feel down, you can just walk a little or take the tram, few minutes, and you’ll reach the sea. Have a cup of turkish tea and enjoy the sun, the blue sky, the blue sea, the amazing views. I’ll leave you with some pictures. Enjoy as I did.

Beautiful Venice

5 Sep

The Joy of Walking in Rome

24 Aug

I had that unfamiliar, relaxed, amazing feeling while walking in the streets of Rome, a feeling I never felt in my own country. I think I can name it, a feeling of freedom, a feeling of belonging to the street, a feeling of walking without being stared at, a feeling of tranquility and quietness where things seemed clearer to me. 

Streets enriched with beautiful trees. I felt their greatness as they were close to me. There were no boundaries, no limits, no barriers. I felt I could hear my own inner self. There’s something about Rome. What I’m sure of is that it was a magical feeling, and I can’t wait to go back to Rome.

Lucca

22 Aug

I couldn’t not share with you more photos of few special places we have visited, my husband and I, during our trip to Italy. This city, Lucca, situated in Tuscany, is a Renaissance-city-walls. We only spent few hours in Lucca Centro, so we didn’t see much of the city, but what we saw was extremely breathtaking and enough to make us plan of going back there. I will let you enjoy these photos.

Our Trip to Italy & Paris

1 Aug

Louvre, Paris

I have missed blogging. It’s been a long time since my last post, I have been busy preparing for my wedding, as many of you know. I am happy and fortunate to have our wedding being held at my village, my beloved beautiful home. Sharing these joyful moments with family and friends, all present at the home that I cherish alot, was a true bliss. We had “the time of our life”. 🙂

As for the adventurous side, our two-weeks trip to Italy and Paris was a huge excitement. My husband and I spent 10 days in Italy, between Rome, Tuscany, Naples and Milan and 4 days in Paris. We had so much fun, we explored alot of places, we walked alot, we ate alot of yummii foods. We came back home, a little bit down, missing our adventure, missing the streets of Italy, and planning our next trip to Italy for next year.

The Colosseum .... and my husband!!

I can’t not mention the food we had in Italy. Although we ate alot, and we felt full after each meal, we couldn’t resist the scrumptious sweets and snacks. The pizza and pasta are way different and tasty than the ones we have here. They are just different, I think one of the reasons is the beautifully red tomato sauce, the plum italian tomatoes are so rich in flavor.Yummii. Un délice.

The beautiful Vatican

The most delicious pizza we have ever tasted was at L’antica pizzeria Da Michele in Naples, I knew about this place on tv from a famous chef, he recommended it, so I made up my mind to visit it when we’ll be in Italy, so we went to Naples, specially to eat at Da Michele, we searched for the street and for our luck it wasn’t that far from the train station. How delightful we were when we found the place and satisfied when we tasted the pizze. They only have 2 kinds of pizza, margherita and marinara; of course we had the two. The pizze were thin, rich, flavorful, extremely delicious. I recommend every one who travels to Italy, to go visit L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele. Later on, I found out it was the pizzeria where Julia Roberts ate in the movie “Eat, Pray, Love”. And, of course, I was thrilled.

Pizza margherita

Pizza marinara

While we were in Naples, after eating at Da Michele, we headed to Pompei for few hours and we had a couple of hours left until our scheduled train back to Rome, so we spent them in Sorrento, and we were extremely happy we did. Sorrento overlooks the bay of Naples and is famous for lemon cultivation. Of course we needed more time to discover it all. But at least we ate few specialties; gnocchi alla sorrentina, tiramisu, some limoncello, and few pastries like a babà and alot of shopping. We had so much fun.

Sorrento

Doing some soap & souvenirs shopping..

Lucca, is a city in Tuscany, known for its Renaissance-era walls. Lucca was a last-minute plan. We were, on the train, heading to Pisa when we decided to pass by Lucca; I was introduced to it on one of the blogs I read. And we were amazed by this beautiful, quiet, old city. Trees everywhere. Nice stones everywhere. Beautiful, wide passeggiate. We wandered the streets of Lucca, and every via we enter, we were amazed by the beauty of this small city. We also passed by a farmer market, I bought different flavored honey jars, I love honey alot.

Duomo di San Martino

Una passeggiata...

Lucca

Lucca, Torre delle ore.

One evening, we took the bus from Florence to Fiesole. This amazing town overlooks Florence. We saw there San Francesco monastery, had dinner next to it in a restaurant that also overlooks Florence. We had so much fun.

Fiesole

Florence scene from Fiesole

Venice

Yummii things in Venice..

Venice

Sunflower fields in Tuscany

Il Duomo, Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, in Florence

Duomo di Milano. Magnificent.

Nice fountain... my husband freshening up..

Paris, from the Eiffel Tower.

Chateau Versailles

Blooming Spring

4 Apr

This blue flower plant is a kind of peas, its common name is silvery lupine

Beautiful coquelicots..

In this post, there won’t be any recipe but I just want to share with you some pictures of nature, the nature glowing and blooming during the Spring. The last weekend I was at the village, I miss my village, I miss my home and I miss the trees and nature surrounding my lovely home.

It is a great feeling to be in nature, surrounded by green living creatures. The smooth, gentle breeze, the amazing, gorgeous smell of the orange trees flowering, great way to enjoy any sunny day of Spring. Enjoy the pictures.

A yellow flowers bush, a Forsythia

Pear blossom tree

Tina, the cedar I planted 4 years ago, look how beautiful its foliage is. Blooming.

The wood sorrel, its stick is edible and citrusy, and its flowers are so cute, they close in the afternoon.

This is the first time I see this plant flowering, how amazing...

Olive Harvest

1 Nov

It is the olive season. Harvesting season. Last weekend we went to the village and we visited one of the old olives presses places. From the moment I entered the place, the smell of the olives threw me in a state of reminiscence as I remembered my childhood when I first smelled it. And it is going to be hard for me to explain about the smell, a place redolent of olive scent. It is a great, amazing, strong smell, one of a kind, one of the best fragrances. It has the smell of the ground, the nature, the trees.

And what’s perfect than bringing home the finest olive oil and the most delicious olives to enjoy with pita bread and labné, or with zaatar ( a mix of dried thyme, sumac, toasted sesame and olive oil), we call it “tartine zaatar”. There is also this tradition to fry some sweet dough, called Zalebieh, in the first new crop of olive oil.

Our village is surrounded by olive trees

Olive season is one of the most important season for the villagers because all the crop is preserved for a couple of years, some of it is sold as olives and as olive oil. Almost every family in my village has its own crop, its own trees. There are two ways of harvesting the olives, either by picking the olives by hand, the nice big ones, these would be preserved for eating, or “hitting” the olive tree with a stick and the olives will fall on a cloth placed under the tree.

These are collected, brought to olives presses and pressed and olive oil is extracted. Usually the black olives are pressed unless the grains were flawless, nice and big.

Black olives from our crop

Olives are preserved in jars with water and salt. We also add some lemon rinds, others add some fresh thymes.

Green olives from our harvest

The process of pressing olives is simple and nice. They start by splitting the olives from the leaves .. 

splitting the olives from the leaves

Then the olives are being washed in water

olives being rinsed...

… then sent to be ground and the paste is spread on a fabric made of goat’s hair… and then pressed and olive oil is extracted..

..the olive paste is being spread on layers...

... being pressed..

..then after being pressed, the oil is separated from the water and pulp and is poured into the jars or bottles…

The olive oil is still turbid and dense, it needs quite some time to be clearer

After being pressed and oil is extracted, the olives residue is not thrown away but it is used during winter to set aflame in the fireplace, along with woods.

I have tasted some of our olive oil and it tastes great, it is sharp, dense, and new. In the past, villagers used to eat and enjoy some drizzled fresh olive oil on a hot fresh loaf of saj bread baked by ladies in the village on the same day of olives presses. Fresh olive oil, fresh bread… How wonderful!!!

Fresh and new olive oil from our trees, our crop. I find it exquisite.

The dessert below has nothing to do with olives harvesting, but I mentioned it because it is one of the different kind of sweets that villagers bring along to the olives harvest to give them strength so they can continue their day. And because I ate alot of it during the weekend, either with biscuits or plain. This sweet is called “Raha” it’s chewy, coated with powdered sugar has different flavors and it is yummii, so delicious.