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North African Dried Meat ( El Gedid )

Gedid is a salted dried meat. An old traditional way of drying meat, because it was the only way to keep it for a long time and use it in various dishes such as couscous, tagine and other traditional North African dishes. Gedid is still part of these dishes until present day circulation and is one of the characteristic basics in all North African Cuisine (Libya, Tunis, Algeria, Morocco). North Africans are keen to prepare Gedid every year, especially on the occasion of Eid al-Adha Holiday, when meat is available in abundance.

To prepare the Gedid there are four main ingredients: salt, garlic, coriander powder and cumin. Each country add its own extra species. Some even add El karwia (Armenian cumin). Different natural food coloring spices can be used such as turmeric and red pepper.



INGREDIENTS:

The Gedid ( Dried Meat):

Ingredients:

5 kg lamb meat

250 g garlic cloves 

4 tablespoons ground coriander powder 

4 tablespoons cumin

250 g salt

Optional:

- 1 pinch of saffron
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp red pepper


METHOD

1 Remove the bones of the thigh or bones of the selected piece of lamb.

2. The blood veins will be removed and all that can contaminate the piece of meat.

3 Cut the meat into long strips with a thickness of 2 cm.

4 Prepare all the ingredients: meat, garlic, coriander seeds, cumin and salt.

5 Mince the garlic with salt.

6. Place the crushed garlic with salt in a large bowl.

7 Add spices (ground beans and crushed cumin) to garlic.

8 Mix well with all meat pieces.

9 Salt the meat well.

10 Mix the meat well until it is full with salt, garlic and spices.

11 Add the red pepper to color and protect the meat (to taste).

12 Mix again very well to combine meat with pepper.

13 Lay the meat in the spice mixture for two days to three days, and place it in the refrigerator and mix it from time to time.

14 Lay the meat strips under the sun until it dry. ( Let dry under the sun all day long, to bring inside for the evening, then the next day, hang it again under the sun until it is well dried and its color becomes dark).

15 When the meat is totally dry and hard, it becomes ready.

16 Keep the sleeve in a fabric bag away from moisture. (You should not put it in the freezer. Just cover it with a cloth of fabric and to put it in a plastic bag, keep it in a drawer. you can also take it out every two months and sun dry it.)


Notes:

Meat strips thickness should not exceed 3 cm

It is best to choose a piece of fatty meat to prepare the side.

When the meat is totally dry and hard, it becomes ready.

Keep the sleeve in a fabric bag away from moisture.

Before cooking soak the gedid in water to rid it of excess salinity and soften it slightly.

In the winter you can dry the pastries in the heated oven at 70 to 75 degrees Celsius.













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The Ultimate Tips Guide to Take Your Honeymoon

You've just tied the knot, more than likely you haven't stopped smiling since you said "I do"-- I know that I sure didn't. The smile still hasn't left my face and my husband and I will be married for two years in December. The only time I wasn't smiling? The planning portion of the wedding. Some say it's super fun and exciting. While it is exciting, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed and stressed out.
What stressed me out even more? During the year of planning, I totally forgot the part that would probably be a close second to saying, "I do". The honeymoon. Don't make these mistakes when you plan your getaway with your new spouse.

Let's Set The Scene


You can't wait to get out of those wedding garments to go celebrate your love in an amazing place. Right? I can just feel your joy. But before you step out and jump on that plane to fly to your intended destination or hop in the car to get where you want to go, you might just want to make sure you are set, completely set for the whole experience.

Rewind


During the planning phase of your big day, you'll more than likely skim over your honeymoon planning-- You'll buy the tickets and book your hotels, but will you really remember all the other important details? Whatever you do, don't do this. Don't skim over this part of the planning or you will be sorry. And by sorry, I mean, you'll more than likely have no money left over in your budget, you won't have a clue what to pack, and there won't be any spending money for you to enjoy yourself with your new spouse. So let's start from the very beginning.

Make a List


More than likely you've got a lot of stuff to do to complete your wedding planning. Maybe you've got a project to do each night until the big day finally arrives or maybe your booked solid with last minute fittings, cake tastings, or food tastings.
Do what Santa does and make a list.

You should just sit down, you and your spouse, and jot all the things you know you will need. What I did was write down each day that we were going to be there. I checked the weather so I had a tentative idea of what it was going to be like. Then I put my outfits together. That way, I didn't overpack and was able to have room for souvenirs.

The best way to write a list, is to categorize your list. Have categories like:

• The Must Haves (credentials for the travel, tags for your bags, and perhaps a camera)
• Her Stash
• His Stash  
• Bathroom Items
• Goody Extras (workout and rain gear)
• Essential Things to Leave With Family and Friends (place you are going, contact information, sealed copies of your will, insurance, and any other important things )
Once you've completed this list, be sure that you have all the important documentation that you need in one area. If you're flying, be sure that you don't change your name to anything different than on your plane ticket or passport. You don't want to have any confusion. As excited as you may be, be sure that you wait to change your name.

Prepare


Now you have everything jotted down. You should now divvy out the categories. One at a time, for the both of you. After you are done with a category, make sure you have packed everything and remember to check off the item on the list after you've packed.

One of my favorite tricks that could come in handy for you is to complete your list of categories and once you are done,  swap the categories and go through the list again, so that each of you makes sure all is in there. It will save you time and reduce the chances of forgetting stuff.

Then, be sure to give the important things you feel your family and friends should have at this point. If you've got a house or a pet sitter, be sure to give them detailed instructions on how to care for your home or your pet. Leave a contact sheet of vet info and a letter stating that you place your pet in their care.

Check Your List Twice


You will want to make sure that you have not left anything out, both in the bags and in the list itself. So you should go through the list again. Use the visualization method, it will help you see things more clearly. You could even speak the whole process out loud together, it's way more fun this way. You'll want to do this a couple of weeks before the wedding.

Once You're All Packed


Once you've got your bag packed, leave everything in a common place where it will be accessible to the pair of you or accessible to the person fetching your luggage for you. Remember, you can delegate jobs off to others in your wedding party or your family so you don't have to have a care in the world for your big day.

After the Wedding


This period is usually very "crazy". You have just tied the knot and you are both very happy and flirting with each other. Now you need to prepare for the long travel you are about to make. Although it's hard to see it this way, you should see yourself as travelers at that time. Ideally, you simply want to have a relaxed calm mind before you do this.
To take some stress away from the pending travels, be sure that you ask for help where you need it. For example, if you're leaving right from your venue, be sure to have your luggage and everything you need taken care of. It's probably best to pawn this duty off to someone that will keep track of everything. This way, you've got someone to worry about grabbing everything for you and getting your stuff to you before you depart from your venue.

Remember

Once you're on your honeymoon, more than likely you'll realize that you'll want to take home souvenirs or things that you'll be able to keep to remember this magical vacation. When you're packing your suitcase, think about leaving a little room for trinkets.
If this is something that is totally impossible for you, try mailing the trinkets to yourself from your honeymoon location. It may be more expensive to do this, but you'll have plenty of room in your suitcase and you'll be able to get a fun package after you've arrived home.  

So moral of the story... Don't pack last minutes, don't over-pack, and don't lose your luggage before you leave. Seems pretty simple, right? It may seem that way, but getting everything ready to go and getting everything done for such an important trip is harder than you think. Make sure that you just breath. You've go this. Happy planning!


Guest Post By: Kayla Rigler From Our Start Website. Kayla is a content writer for OurStart at the Income Store, located in a small town in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. When not working, you will often find her trying new foods, cuddling on the couch with her pup, or on adventures with her husband! 
         
         Photo from : Our Canary Islands Vacation 


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FREE PSD Action For Better Blog Photographs

One of the most challenging things that bloggers face is photography development skills which takes years of practice. Some take short ways and rely only on editing their photos by using filter, presets and actions.  But one still need a good quality photograph so that the editing actually work. I suggest for new bloggers to watch lots of photography tutorials on youtube and educate themselves very well about this very important method to make a blog stand out. Here is my Photography / retouch tips and tricks pinterest board where I collected lots of useful things.  

I've been blogging since 2006 and my photos back then were nothing comparing to what I managed to achieve right now. Just looking back at my 2014 blogpost photos I see clearly that I got better at taking photos, thanks to learning how to use my camera manual mood. I am still on the learning journey by the way.

Even best pro photographers still edit their photos using tools like psd and lightroom. I usually edit my food and travel photos in lightroom and the rest on photoshop. I save my editing routine to action and presets which saves me time and help me edit a large number of photos with just a click. So here I share with you one of my often used psd actions to light up and add a touch of modernity to my blog photos. 

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How To Use Light Up Action:

This action folder has two action parts within it. Number 1 reduces the red hue from the image to add a modern minimal clean style touch to photos and of course brighten them up. Number 2 keeps the same red hue of the original  image and only lights up the image and fix the contrast to match the exposure. 

Once you apply the action, two more layers will be added one to control the exposure and one for the contrast. You can still edit them manually by changing the opacity of each layer. I suggest using 50% each if the 100% results were too bright. As you see below the exposure opacity was reduced to 80% when I edited this image. Once you are satisfied with the image result select all 3 layers, merge to one and save. I hope you find this action usefull to edit your blog photographs from now on :-) enjoy!  




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Marinating Shish Taouk Recipe

Finally I managed to translate this recipe to share with you guys. We love Middle Eastern food! it makes us remember those lovely days when we lived in Turkey and visited Lebanon. We had such great food experience and from time to time we like to recall those memories by making our own home cooking Middle Eastern dishes. 

This was made for lunch couple of days ago. I often try to marinate the Shish Taouk ( Chicken on sticks ) a night before, but if I didn't plan it ahead I let it marinate for couple of hours. Of course the longer it marinate the softer and tasty it gets, because chicken breast are dry when cooked.  

As a side dish I like to make bulgur, cooked in water, tomato paste, onion, red peppers, spices, coriander and one chilli pepper. I also roast red bell peppers, peel and cut them to small cubes like in this image or stuff them with the bulgur it self. 

The best sauces to this dish is either hummus, motabel or both. In case I didn't prepare a sauce for the Shish Taouk, I usually let my bulgur stay creamy by adding more water so that the meal doesn't taste dry. 

I hope you enjoy this inspiration.. more Middle Eastern recipes to come! 






Ingredients

8 small /4 big garlic cloves
6 chicken breasts
4 tbsp soft greek yogurt 
2 tbsp 7 spices mix 
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp mustard 
1 tbsp thyme (grounded)
3/4 cup lemon juice
50 ml olive oil
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup vinegar


Optional 
2 Chilli peppers 

1 cup = 240 ml


Method

Cut chicken breasts into small cubes.
In the blender, add the mustard, garlic, yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, spices, chilli peppers, thyme and tomato paste, and mix them well.

Add the chicken cubes to the mixture and put them in a box with a lid and keep in the fridge before the roast / grill day.


Put the chicken cubes into wooden or metal sticks and grill in the oven or bbq until they turn into a golden color. 

Brush them with olive oil and serve with lemon and coriander together with hummus, moutabel, bulgur and salad. 



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Holiday Family Mountains Trip


One of our family traditions during Easter holiday is to travel to the mountain cabin and do the country living activities. Finally after two years of pregnancy and postpartum I managed to ski again. I was surprised that I remembered the techniques I've learned when I first started. The second day my body was exhausted and I could move a muscle. I had to wait for the 3th day to resume the training.  

Best thing about being in the mountains is spending the days outdoors. We do picnics, we grill, drive snowmobile, ski, take long walks and enjoy the lovely sunset view. April weather makes it less painful I also love taking lots of photographs there. 

Julia was happy spending quality time with her cousins. Her grandparents and aunt helped during our stay together so I could have some relaxing moments which I rarely get when I am with her by myself. 

We were lucky with such beautiful weather, sunshine and blue skies. And a good snow for skiing. I will be looking forward for the next time we visit the mountains during summer, which is a total different feeling when the grass gets green and the water sparkle under the sun.    



  

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Sausage Alfredo Pasta Casserole

I tried this recipe few weeks ago and my family loved it. I love Alfredo sauce and the smoky taste the sausage added to it was so delicious. Our little Julia loves pasta so much and it was her first time to try fusilli shape. She grabbed one piece and started analyzing it and wondering if it's eatable.. as soon as she saw me eating, she started tasting carefully... humm mmm humm... until fished her whole plate. 

This is definitely a family weekdays cooking recipe. I think you can control how creamy you want the pasta to be. I baked it a bit longer so that I get the golden color on the top. You can follow the recipe exactly or add up your own creativity. It's a classic recipe :-) enjoy!




Ingredients

16 ounces / 453.6 g dry pasta
3 tablespoons butter
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup / 2.37 dl chicken broth
2 cups 4.73 dl half and half
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup / 1.185 dl grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups / 4.73 dl mozzarella cheese, divided
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 (12 oz) / 340.2 g fully cooked smoked sausage, any variety

Instructions

Cook pasta according to package directions until just al dente; drain.
While pasta cooks, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Stir in flour.
Whisk in chicken broth until smooth, then stir in half and half.
Add salt, pepper, cayenne, and red pepper flakes and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in Parmesan cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella until cheeses are melted and smooth.
Slice sausage into 1/4 inch pieces and add to the sauce, along with the chopped parsley and cooked pasta. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
Preheat broiler. Pour the pasta mixture into a lightly greased, 9x13 inch baking dish. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and golden.


Source 

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Swedish Love Letters ( Rullrån ) Recipe

Hello buddies! here is the recipe I've been asked to post when I shared a photo on instagram. I learned this recipe from my mother in law when I first moved here with my hubby few years ago. I try to make these lovely rolls every now and then.. especially during holiday seasons. I even sold lots during the Christmas market participation on 2012 and 2016. I sold a total of  60 pieces in each pack. 

I filled these rolls with whip cream, poured dark syrup over them, added some cloud berries and sprinkled powder sugar on top. I would recommend these lovely treats for tea or coffee break. Or even a light dessert after lunch or dinner. Enjoy! 





Ingredients

35 pieces

150 g of butter or margarine
1 egg
1 1/2 dl 130 g of sugar
1 1/2 dl 90 g flour
1 1/2 dl 120 g potato flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla Or 1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
1/2 dl 50 ml cream + 1dl  100 ml milk

Tip  add a 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds minced for extra flavor.



Method

Melt the butter and let it cool. Stir together eggs and sugar. Mix dry ingredients; wheat flour with potato flour, baking soda and vanilla or vanilla sugar. Add the butter and then cream and milk. Add the cardamom to all ingredients mixture and blend them together very well. 
Heat the mould pan and brush it with a bit of butter.

Put some of the batter in the mould plate and bake for about 2 min if you have two sides mould. If not. turn it and bake for 1 min on each side. Use the same heat as when baking pancakes.

Roll immediately after the baking. Roll them around a stick to get a perfect roll shapes in the same level / size. Let them cool until you are done with all pieces. 

Serve them with your favorite topping / filling. You can choose from whip cream, ice cream, berries, chocolate, nuts, powdered sugar .. ect..


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Color Your Wardrobe Giveaway Contest

As promised, here is the GIVEAWAY of the month sponsored by JustFashionNow. I know you guys have been waiting and now the waiting is over. Luckily this giveaway will have two winners which increases the chances of winning shopping coupons worth $150 to color your wardrobe for the season. 

Below you will find how to participate in the contest and more info about JustFashionNow


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JustFashionNow are giving away $150 worth of shopping coupons to TWO (2) lucky Winners! This giveaway contest is open for Nature Whisper followers in the US, UK, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. Winners will be chosen randomly via electronic raffle by JustFashionNow.


Color Your Wardrobe with JustFashionNow Giveaway Mechanics


  1. Signup our newsletter at the top-right corner of this page.
  2. Follow the Official Facebook Fan Page of JustFashionNow
  3. Leave a comment below this post mentioning your favorite fashion item from JustFashionNow.com.
  4. Fill out the Giveaway Entrance widget tool with your complete email address.(Try again if the page doesn’t respond)
  5. Bonus: Share this Giveaway post on your social media accounts to earn 1 more entry !(Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Google+)

Join here 

JustFashionNow are giving away $150 worth of shopping coupons to TWO (2) lucky Winners! This giveaway contest is open for our followers in the US, UK, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, New Zealand and Australia. Winners will be chosen randomly via electronic raffle by JustFashionNow.





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Personal Style: Beige And White

I am sharing with you today one of the basic outfits that I love very much and wear often during spring / summer. I even had this outfit on last spring during one of the my first stroller walks with Julia. White and beige fit perfectly in almost everything. So I always trust this choice even in decor and other things that require color taste. 

I hope you guys are enjoying the spring / holiday season and like this inspiration! 







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The Egg









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Chicken And Quinoa Baked Steaks

I am sharing with you one of my original recipes that I made following my own taste and favorite ingredients.  I hope you like it :-) enjoy! 









Ingredients

453g / 1 pound ground chicken (about two big chicken breast fillet) 
1 dl  / 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
1 dl / 40 g freshly grated parmesan or Västerbotten cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh coriander 
1 teaspoon lemon juice 
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sauce 

3 dl tomato sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Basil leaves
salt and pepper for taste



Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400°F 200 C°. Prepare a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, quinoa, Parmesan, coriander, lemon, salt, and pepper. 

Gently work the mixture together until it is well combined. Shape into 12 steaks each one the size of a small burger or and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

In a small sauce pan, add all tomato sauce ingredients, mix together and cook for about 5 - 7 minutes. Brush the tomato sauce over the steak tops. Bake until they are tender-firm to the touch and just beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.

As aside dish I baked turnips, beet roots and carrots and served them as seen on the photos with spinach and a pinch of Parmesan and basil. 


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