Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kasza jaglana

Today's post should probably be written in Polish, as even though I tried to find a good and accurate translation for the word Kasza Jaglana, I simply couldn't. I guess a more general term we could use for the purpose of this blog post could be grits

When I lived in NYC, some well-travelled Americans knew what I meant when I talked about "Kasza". Even thought they wouldn't be able to spell it to save their lives;) haha

But at least they knew its taste and some even liked it, actually. But then again, New York is a pretty special place on earth and people living there are a funky mix of nationalities & ethnicities.

The problem with Kasza is that in Poland we have so many different kinds, perhaps too many... Sometimes when you're trying to recreate some staple Polish dishes abroad, you realize that kasza is the one ingredient you're missing.

When I arrived to Belgium, I expected the same kind of selections of different Kaszas that we have back home. After all, it's not like Belgium is miles away. To my surprise, all I could find was blé. Sad but true...

Why am I rambling on & on about kasza today?

Well, it's super nutricious and everyone should be eating it, for starters :)

But there's also another reason. I just found 2 unopened boxes of kasza and decided to make myself some healthy breakfast for tomorrow.

Vegstrefa.pl

 

In order to make it, you'll need:

  • Kasza jaglana (what else)
  • One apple
  • Some orange juice
  • Some nuts, dried fruits
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg
  • Honey

You cook kasza for +|- 20 min. After it cooled down, you add a bit of honey to sweeten it up.

In a separate pot, you throw in your apple, and carmelize it for a while. Add orange juice and spices.

When it's soft, add some dried fruits and nuts.

Stir it all up and pack for tomorrow ;)

For me, Monday is always the longest day of the week. If you have a good breakfast with you, you're up to a better start!

 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

On the path to eliminate stress...

I don't know about you, but I'm a rather stressed person.
From the moment I get on the tram in the morning, go to work, bitch at traffic, wipe away someone's sneeze from my sleeve, forget my lunch, get annoyed with a colleague at work, eat way too much chocolate, have splitting headache, go home to bed...I'm stressed! every single day. Sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less, but it's a fact.

I've been researching things that I could do to help myself (and probably others around me, as well).

Here's a list of what I came up with:

1. sleep more
This one is rather obvious. If you get enough sleep, you're more energetic, active & willing to forgive. This in turn translates into better relationships with others & much less stress.

2. get moving
I said it once & I'll say it again- physical effort makes happy people. Even if it means a walk in the park, or sit ups on your yoga mat at home.

3. manage your time & finances better
If you know where your money goes, you'll be calmer & less stressed about the future.
Same with your time. It's better to know you're not just loosing it, but that you do things that are expected, planned & need to be done.
I have a calendar app in my iPad & my phone which I use all the time to plan my days. It really works.

4. accept the things you can't change
I know, easier said than done, but it really is the key to a happy & less stressful life.
Don't expect people do be perfect, don't assume things, and finally, don't try & change things unless you know they can be changed...

5. share your problems
I agree that it's not always easy, esp. if like me, you think you can handle pretty much everything. But sometimes, you just don't HAVE TO handle it all. You CAN ask your friends for support & what's more, you probably should. This will get you closer to them, & make you realize that you're not alone. Because whatever you might think, the reality is that you're NOT alone.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Are you fitted?

80% of women wear the wrong kind of bra? Myth????!!!!

FACT!!!!!!!!!!

 

Have you ever felt that your bra straps are just too loose, or they're digging into your flesh, or finally, that they are not giving you the support you need?

Or perhaps you didn't want to bother changing an old bra & thought like having 3 bras in black, nude and white color was more than enough?

Finally, you just lost some weight, and feel like your old favorite bra is just not doing its job anymore?

After months of postponing the obvious, you finally decide that it's not YOU but it's the BRA that is the problem! You bravely go bra shopping only to find out that they don't carry bras in your size/ cup/ or colors you like. Big disappointment or just the story of my life!

Up until now, that is, since recently I got to meet the lovely Vanessa from félicité store in Brussels Waterloo. She offers you a personal, convenient and comfortable shopping experience laced with a touch of luxury. With a free personalised fitting service and lingerie in a wide variety of styles, designs, colours and prices, félicité aims to uplift both boobs and morale!

What's more interesting, Vanessa has plenty of amazing bras not only for the well-endowed ladies. She carries smaller sizes, sports bras, maternity bras, perfecting lingerie, etc. In short, anything ANY woman might need.

Needless to say, after plenty of trying on, laughter and big decision-making, I came home with four amazing bras, including one beautiful sports bra! I am extatic and I can really highly recommend this service to everyone who happens to live in Brussels and around! This is a completely different experience, but having tried it, I have to say that I absolutely love it. Do check it out

 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Snowed in

Hello all,

It seems like winter is back in Brussels! And what a strong come back it is!

I woke up today only to see that my terrace looks like it's been covered with a fluffy white carpet! A thick one too!;)

Bushes in a park close to home

It seems like everyone was out and about today. But with so much snow and not too cold of a temperature, this is exactly what a perfect Sunday should be!

Bois de la Cambre
All the kids having fun

Right now, we're back home, making a delicious chilli con carne and hoping that the snow is going to last for a while. It just feels much more christmassy like that, doesn't it?

 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

My favourite products these days

Have you heard about Nars Laguna bronzer? Well, of course you have! I don't think that there's a single beauty conscious person out there who hasn't heard of their wonderful products, and this bronzer in particular.

This Christmas, I decided to give myself a little present, and I knew exactly what I wanted as my treat. Let's be honest, It's an expensive product, yet I feel like it's absolutely worth its price! I love it!

It turns out that my better half likes me dabbling with make up after all :-) and this Christmas he got me a lovely Bobbi Brown palette. It looks rather basic, but really, it has all I need in my everyday make up. There are 3 eyeshadows in there, plus 2 lipsticks and one stunning pip gloss. Also, the black eyeshadow can be used wet and then it works perfect as an eyeliner.

Bronzer and Holiday Palette
On top of those two products which I'm using daily, there's also Evian spray water which needs to be mentioned in here. For those of you who never heard of it, this little gadget can be used to set your make up, freshen up your face or simply to moisturise it. The website claims Each drop of evian starts as rain and melting snow on the peaks of the Northern Alps. It filters through layers of glacial sand on a 15+ year journey deep in the heart of the mountains. Through this process, evian is filtered naturally, without chemicals, giving it the purity, mineral content, and taste that nature intended.
What's more, I also noticed that the fiancé seems to like it too, and he's using it pretty much every day:-) Not that he'd ever admit it...
All three products:

Do you have any products which you'd like to recommend? Feel free to share!

 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Baby, it's cold outside...

When it's really cold outside, my lips need that special tender loving care that only a good lip balm can provide. And yes, I tried to apply natural honey... Other than being rather tasty, it does nothing to the chapped skin of my lips.

After trying many different lip balm brands, I have to say that these days there are only the absolute winners in my purse. Such as Burt's Bees, Blistex or Nivea. Sadly, however, if I'm not travelling, I can only buy them in 1 store in Brussels. Sad, I know....

Those who know me, know that I need to have something for the lips with me at all times. Be it meetings, walk in the park, movies, or even drinks with friends... If there's nothing on my lips, I need to re-apply my chap stick, and if there's none in my bag, I'll be very, very unhappy! I guess everyone has their thing...

In my search to find something moisturising, that's soft and natural for my lips, I searched online too. My favourite place to get chap sticks is Etsy. I simply love their selection and the fact that most of the sellers make their products at home, from only organic ingredients is not without importance here either.

The Caramel Apple from the pic above was bought online last year & I really like it a lot!

Check it out Etsy if, like me, you're also always on the hunt for that perfect lip balm.

Until then, stay warm!

 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sick sick sick

Hey guys,

You might've noticed that I'm not updating my blog as often as I normally do. It's all because I'm sick. Yes, I know...again

This time it's bronchitis, so it could be worse, but then again, it's probably not the nicest thing either.

I've been lying in bed, doing absolutely nothing this past week.

Well, almost nothing. I managed to finish The Girl with The Dragon Tatoo

I'm not quite sure what's all the hype about though...I couldn't wait for the book to be over.

Plans for today? I might watch The Lucky One, as I downloaded it on iTunes. Have you seen it?

Hope your week is going better! Stay warm!

 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wedding update: 10 MONTHS TO GO

Some of you might already know that I'm getting married this year! Yep, our wedding date is

19/10/2013

As of now, we still have 10 long months to go, but knowing life, it'll all go super fast!

I decided that each month I'll be doing a little update on how things are going in regards to the wedding! I hope that it can be useful for those of you who are also engaged & need some inspiration ;)

And if not then please forgive me! I'm just extremely excited about my Big Day!!!

 

So what's the progress?

Right now, we have taken care of the following MAJOR things:

  • The venue

It's going to be a gorgeous 4 star hotel in Zaragoza, Spain. Click

My fiancé is Spanish and has a big family, so we decided that it'll be easier for everyone if we have the wedding in Spain. Also, a nice sunny weather won't hurt us either ;)

 

  • The church

It's just by the hotel, and it's a basilica. Breathtaking! Just take a look yourself. Click

 

  • The photographer

We listened to our hearts and chose a well-known photographer that we can trust to deliver the most beautiful wedding pictures ever. We arranged an appointment with him to make sure we are on the same page when it comes to the actual pictures & it went very well. We're very happy that it'll be Manel who will work for us on this magical day! His details are here Click

 

  • The dress

I have found THE dress already!!! For some girls it's the most important aspect of their wedding. For me, not so much... Lol

But the again, the one I chose is absolutely perfect and I feel like a princess in it!!! It's by the Spanish brand called Pronovias. Click

I will not tell you the actual model, as my fiancé might check it out & I want this to be a surprise :)

 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ice, ice, baby...

On a Sunday I usually like being lazy... If I do something, it cannot be anything very demanding or time-consuming, it's just the way I am. A walk in the park, a coffee with friends or, preferably, afternoon in bed with a good book.

But today, my better half decided that we're going to see the ice sculptures in Bruges. For those of you who don't know the place, Bruges is absolutely amazing, and is often compared to be the Venice of Belgium. It is famous for its canals and amazing old town. Believe me, if Bruges was the only place you got to see in Belgium, you wouldn't regret it!

But this time, we checked out the city only briefly and focused in the star of the day- the ice sculptures.

The Snow and Ice Sculpture Festival is built by the talented hands of 30 professional ice artists from 12 different countries. No less than 300 tons of crystal-clear ice and 200 tons of snow was transformed into an enchanting, fairylike décor in the space of just five short weeks. This treasure-trove of icy art works will be preserved against the elements under the roof of a giant ice hall. The festival is unique in Europe – a fun-packed adventure for young and old alike!

This year's theme was "Ice Magic" and was inspired by the stories of Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.

Even though those kinds of events are targeted at kids, I am really glad we went. Two grown-ups in the land of magic... I wasn't sure what to think of it, but now I have to say that we had fun!

I was truly amazed how perfectly sleek everything was. The ice that was used to make all those sculptures is not your typical ice, it's somehow prepared first, but don't ask me for details. But probably that's why it looks absolutely perfect, like diamonds, really! It was really hard not to lick it. But you'll be glad to know that I didn't ;)

Ice bed
Everything in the pavillon was done with such huge attention to detail! I loved it!!!

And yes, I did feel like the nice hot chocolate with extra layer of whipped cream was well-deserved afterwards! It's minus 6 degrees of Celsius inside!

I hope that you had a good Sunday!

B

 

Friday, January 4, 2013

let's get cooking/ gotujmy razem

POST KULINARNY zainicjowany przez Magde z http://magdalenkafou.blogspot.it/

THE CULINARY POST initiated by Magda from http://magdalenkafou.blogspot.it/

This is written in both Polish & English- the Polish version is in black while the English version is in Blue.
Enjoy!!!


  1. Kilka słów ogólnych o jedzeniu – Wasza opinia, dobre/niedobre, zdrowe/niezdrowe itp.
A few words about food- your opinion, good/bad, healthy/ unhealthy, etc.

Jedzenie w Belgii jest ogolnie bardzo dobre, ale tylko jesli lubimy eksperymenty w kuchni. Jest tutaj tak wielka miesznka kulturowa, ze naturalnym jest, ze jest tutaj mnostwo restauracji serwujacych przerozna kuchnie. Tradycyjnie juz, bardzo smakuje mi kuchnia wloska, ale nie pogardze tez tajska, czy argentynska.
Food in Belgium is generally very tasty, but only if you enjoy experimenting in the kitchen. We have here such a big cultural mix, that it’s natural that there are plenty of various restaurants serving different things. Traditionally, I love Italian cuisine, but I also like Thai or Argentinean.

  1. Kilka słów o tym, z czego Wasz kraj słynie – np. Włochy to pomidory, oliwa, sery, wino itp.
Few words on what your country is famous for

Belgia to kraj piwa, frytek (wynalezli je Belgowie, mimo ze mowi sie o Francuzach) i czekolady. Czyli w skrocie, kazdy znajdzie tutaj cos dla siebie.
Belgium is the country of good beer, fries (Belgians invented them even though people attribute it to the French) and chocolate. In other words, everyone will find something they like in here.

  1. O jakich porach posiłki są jedzone, czy raczej w domach, czy w restauracjach, nocne wypady do restauracji czy raczej nie itd.
At what time people eat here, more at home, or restaurants?

Belgowie maja u siebie mnostwo roznych restauracji i lubia z nich korzystac. Na pewno w domach, gdzie rodzina jest wieksza lub gdzie sa dzieci, jada sie posilki regularnie, jednak mlodzi ludzie najczesciej z braku czasu, jadaja na miescie.
Belgians have plenty of different restaurants in here & they like going there. For sure, in families where the family is bigger or where there are kids, people eat regular meals, but young people eat out. Usually, this is the case because they don’t have enough time to cook at home.

  1. Typowe menu, ktore mozna znalezc w każdej restauracji, tradycyjne potrawy, etc.
A typical menu to be found in a typical Belgian restaurant.

MOJE SUBIEKTYWNE Belgijskie* MENU
My subjective Belgian menu

ŚNIADANIE: croissant + kawa
Breakfast: croissant+ coffee

http://cafeunothailand.com/breakfast.html

LUNCH: quiche  (przepis ponizej)
Lunch: quice (recipe below)

OBIAD/KOLACJA: stoemp (puree ziemniaczane z dodatkiem marchewki lub brokul, podawane tradycyjnie z kielbaska)+ frytki
Dinner/ Supper: stoemp + fries

www.visitflanders.com
DESER: mousse au chocolat (mus czekoladowy)
Dessert : chocolate mousse
http://worldofchoco.wordpress.com/recipes/

 NAPOJE/ALKOHOLE: piwo (moje ulubione to Kriek czyli slodkie piwo z prawdziwych wisni)
Drinks/ alcohol: beer (my favourite is Kriek- sweet beer made of real cherries)
Beer Advice with a Twist Reviews & News

  1. Co często gotujecie/pieczecie w domu, możecie dodać jakiś przepis..
Do you cook/ bake at home, can you add some recipe?

Ze wzgledu na to, ze sasiadujemy z Francja, wplywy tejze kuchni sa tutaj bardzo widoczne. Uwielbiam przygotowywac quiche, czyli taki jakby placek z ciasta francuskiego, zapiekany w piekarniku. Przepis ponizej.
Because we’re so close to France, Belgian cuisine is very much influenced by it.
 I love making quiche. Here’s my recipe.

Word of Mouth Blog, the Guardian

Przepis na moj quiche:
-          rolka ciasta francuskiego
-          200g bekonu, najlepiej wedzonego, ktory podsmazamy by byl chrupki
-          cebula pokrojona i podsmazona; mozna dodac zabek czosnku
-          320ml smietany (30%)
-          4 jajka i 2 zoltka
-          odrobina mleka
-          sol, pieprz, galka muszkatolowa, oregano, troche papryki do smaku
**********************************************************************************
Ciasto z rolki rozkladamy na formie do quiche.
Podpiekamy troszke w piekarniku, zeby spod sie utwardzil (najlepiej przykryc ciasto folia aluminiowa i wrzucic cos ciezkiego na wierzch, zeby nie porobily sie bable. Ja do tego celu uzywam fasoli).
W miseczce mieszamy mleko z jajami. Dobrze jest troche je ubic, jakbys robila omlet.
Quiche zalewamy warstwami: najpierw bekon, cebula, ser.
Na to kolejna warstwa tego samego.
Po czym duza lyzka polewamy sosem. Dobrze jest to robic powoli i nie wylac od razu calego sosu, bo potem bedziemy mialy soczystu srodek, a nic po bokach.
Na posypanie, dobrze jest miec troche startego sera.
Pieczemy okolo pol godziny w 180 stopniach Celsjusza.

Quiche:
-          one roll of pastry (to be bought in any local supermarket)
-          200g of bacon, best one is smoked
-          Chopped onion- best fried with a chopped clove of garlic
-          320ml heavy cream (30%)
-          4 eggs & 2 egg yolks
-          A bit of milk
-          Salt, pepper, nutmeg, oregano, paprika
**********************************************************************************
Spread the pastry dough on your baking form.
Best blind bake it for a couple of minutes.
Beat the eggs, cream and milk together with a fork then add the cheese, nutmeg, paprika & oregano. Stir in half the bacon and carefully pour the mixture into the baked pastry case then scatter over the remaining bacon.

Bake form around half an hour in 180 degrees Celsius.

  1. Kilka słów o restauracjach, gdzie pójść, które wybierać, jakie ceny itd., ewentualnie markety/targowiska, które warto odwiedzić
A few words about restaurants, where to go, what are the prices, etc.

Jak juz wspomnialam, szczegolnie w Brukseli, mamy mnostwo roznych restauracji. Ceny nie zbijaja z nog, jednak nie oznacza to, ze do restauracji chodzimy codziennie. Srednia cena to 20 euro za glowe.
 Belgia ma tez tzw. Brasserie czyli jadlodajnie/ restauracje, gdzie ceny sa nizsze niz w restauracjach i ktore oferuja naprawde dobre, tradycyjne jedzenie belgijskie. Sa tez otwarte duzo dluzej niz restauracje i, co lepsze miejsca, przyciagaja do siebie tlumy.
Oprocz tego, ja osobiscie uwielbiam targi, ktore w poblizu mojego domu odbywaja sie 2 razy w tygodniu. Dla fanow ekologicznej zywnosci (bio) jest to nie lada gratka, bo mozna tu kupic doslownie wszystko i za dosc przystepna cene (choc nie jest to cena supermarketow) i miec pewnosc, ze sa to produkty bio.

As I said, esp. In Brussels we have plenty of different restaurants.  The prices don’t kill but it doesn’t mean that we’re going there every day. Your average meal price is 20 euros/ person.
Belgium is also known for its Brasseries which are kind of like American diners- prices here are usually lower than in your typical restaurant & they serve traditional Belgian cuisine. They’re also open longer than other restaurants.
Apart from that, I love local food markets (fr. Marchés), which in my neighbourhood happen twice a week. Le marché de la place Flagey or Le marché de Place du Châtelain are known to everyone who likes good food. This is a good option for bio-friendly people who can buy here pretty much everything their hearts desire & they can be sure it’s all organic.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Got beef?

The other day, quite acidentally, really, we went out for a quick drink. Nothing unusual about that... After a while, though, we got hungry, as you do, and decided to check out the Burger Republic.

It's a relatively new place close to Flagey in Brussels and if things like the ones below mean anything to you, then you should definitely give it a shot.

Me with the menu
The Burger Republic takes pride in the following:

- 100% prime Irish Black Angus beef patties

- Artisan bread

- Fresh ingredients & home made preparations

I can honestly say that Brussels' burger scene has improved a lot lately. When I got here back in 2005 things were much different. We had a few American/ Irish bars which served burgers, sure. But because there were not many of them to start with, they didn't care as much about the quality of their patties. And don't even get me started on the customer service...

Right now, I feel like it's a whole different ballgame. We have plenty of good places to choose from, some with burgers as thick as a huge steak, and others with small flattened bite-size ones. Everyone will find what they like best, no problem.

But back to the Burger Republic! Here's how the place looks like.

It's somewhat rustic with pictures of NYC all over.

The BR, quick snapshot
I should've probably apologised for the quality of these photos already, but for obvious reasons I was much more interested in eating the burger rather than in photographing it... That being said, I still wanted to show you what exactly I'm talking about in here... So here it goes!!!

Mr Patty himself!

Burger of the Month
As a side dish we got ourselves some home made sauces and two (2!!!) types of fries: the regular ones and the cheese fries. I loved them both, but to be honest, I think I actually preferred the regular ones a bit more, go figure :) I must be turning Belgian! Haha

Regular fries & cheese fries
The portions are generous, service is nice & quick, and the food is pretty great! If you'd like to check out their menu

I'll be definitely coming back, but perhaps next time I'm going to pass on the sauce and fries. I have a wedding dress to fit into, after all;)

Have a great January 1st! I can't believe how quickly this goes! We just celebrated the New Years!!!!

 

Klub Polki na Obczyznie

Dzisiejszy post bedzie w jezyku polskim. Tak, tak, jestem w koncu Polka i jesli cos fajnego sie dzieje, to chce o tym opowiedziec w moim ojczystym jezyku.
Juz 4go stycznie odbedziecie ze mna podroz kulinarna. Artykul bedzie na stronie Magdy http://magdalenkafou.blogspot.co.uk/p/klub-polek-na-obczyznie.html oraz tutaj.
Pozdrawiam serdecznie i zapraszam do sledzenia takze innych klubowiczek!
Ich osobowosci i blogi sa naprawde wspaniale!