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Sit back and take in nature


Another thing I like to do is sit back and take in nature. To look at the birds, listen to their singing, go hiking, camping and jogging and running, walking along the beach, playing games and sometimes being alone with the great outdoors. It's very special to me. ~ Larry Wilcox

Do you do the same? 


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Baba Ghannouj - Eggplant Dip

( Baba ghannouj, Baba ganoush or Motabel ) this is the names of this popular dip made from eggplant and tahini. It has a smooth, creamy texture, and a slightly smoked taste. It is traditionally served with pita bread (toasted or fresh), however many people like it as a chip dip with potato chips or tortilla chips.

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • Garnish
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


Preparation:

You can use the normal local middle eastern way of cooking the eggplant for this dip as in the photos you see here, or preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake eggplant for 30 minutes, or until outside is crisp and inside is soft.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Cut open eggplant and scoop out the flesh into colander and allow to drain for 10 minutes. Removing the excess liquid helps to eliminate a bitter flavor.

Place eggplant flesh in a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mash together. You can also use a food processor instead of by hand. Pulse for about 2 minutes. 

Place in serving bowl and top with lemon juice and olive oil. Add other garnishes according to taste. 

Serve with warm or toasted pita or flatbread. 


Baba ghannouj always has to have olive oil on top for garnish. However you can spice things up a bit by adding crushed red pepper, a dash of cumin, parsley or coriander.

Enjoy!

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Feel good



Wanna have a good feeling? Go for a walk...  Many people think that going for a walk is only good for your physical fitness. However, walking can benefit you spiritually and mentally as well.

Staying even moderately active increases oxygen levels in your brain, which also improves your mental state. Plus, a 20-minute walk gives your mind a chance to reflect and rejuvenate.

Feel good....
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My Home Made Pizza Dough



Hi again, I hope you all had a nice relaxing Sunday! I love Sundays at home, I spent most of my day organizing things, moving clothes for spring season and doing laundry. This afternoon I felt a great desire to bake something! I had this addiction few years ago, I was making cakes, cup cakes, brownies, pizza and all kind of favorite stuff...

Now days I guess I am in that same old mood again..I made a lovely home made pizza as you see in the photos above. Home made Pizza has nothing to do with the Pizza we order or eat out! don't you agree too? Do you also like to bake your own Pizza or you buy the ready one from supermarket? which one you think is best  and easy? 

How to make the Pizza Dough:

1 In the large bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer (such as a Kitchen Aid), add the warm water. Sprinkle on the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved. Stir to dissolve completely if needed at the end of 5 minutes.

2 Attach a mixing paddle to the mixer. Mix in the olive oil, flour, salt and sugar on low speed for about a minute. Remove the mixing paddle and replace with a dough hook. Knead using the mixer and dough hook, on low to medium speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If you don't have a mixer, you can mix and knead by hand. If the dough seems a little too wet, sprinkle on a bit more flour.
pizza-2.jpg pizza-3.jpg
3 Place ball of dough in a bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn the dough around in the bowl so that it gets coated with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place (75-85°F) until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours (or several hours longer, a longer rise will improve the flavor). If you don't have a warm spot in the house you can heat the oven to 150 degrees, and then turn off the oven. Let the oven cool till it is just a little warm, then place the bowl of dough in this warmed oven to rise.
At this point, if you want to make ahead, you can freeze the dough in an airtight container for up to two weeks.


Gratitude...  

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Let´s Blossom


Cherry Blossoms comes first at my favorite flowers list, I am not the type of girl who like roses! I prefer tiny little and very small roses like, Allium, Alstroemeria, Amaryllis, Bouvardia and Baby´s Breath.

cherry blossom is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, particularly the Japanese Cherry, Prunus serrulata, which is sometimes called sakura after the Japanese. Many of the varieties that have been cultivated for ornamental use do not produce fruit. Edible cherries generally come from cultivars of the related species Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus.

Cherry Blossoms are all around Istanbul giving a sign of spring, these flowers are very popular here because In 2005, Japanese cherry trees were presented by Japan to the Nezahat Gokyigit Botanical Garden in Istanbul, Turkey. Each tree represents one sailor of Ertugrul Frigate which was the a famous frigate of the Ottoman/Turkish navy. She had encountered a typhoon on the way back from a goodwill visit to Japan in 1890. That heavy weather condition caused her to sink. That disaster resulted with unfortunate loss of 587 Ottoman/Turkish sailors. That unfortunate occurrence is being remembered in every anniversary. The Japanese Cherry Trees represent memory of those passed away and provide remembrance.

I have always seen a side of wisdom in these little flowers; that in times of storm and rainy days its better to just be patient and wait for the time where things can blossom naturally.  


 @> What do you guys think? and what is your favorite flower? 



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