Weekend Breakfast Perfection…

After about 100 weekends when D surprised my very pregnant self with breakfast, I thought it was about time I returned the favour, so here we are… I baked him the best breakfast muffins I could come up with (being in the kitchen involves a lot of improvising for me). Just to get you in the mood, they contain prosciutto (because I forgot to buy bacon and prosciutto was the only thing I had in the fridge), red cheddar and a touch of garlic. Since it is the weekend, we tend to not count calories, fat or any other nasty stuff that could get our morale down, but I am telling you, these muffins are not for those that are on a diet, no, they are a cheat meal!

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Thankfully, if you have them for breakfast, they are not as bad as they seem on paper because you have an entire day to consume all that savoury goodness. That being said, I tried to keep them on the healthy side by not using white flour and by switching from sour cream to a much lighter yoghurt and low fat milk. I did not keep that in mind where the red full fat cheddar was involved, but you could easily switch to low fat mozzarella and skip the butter if you want them to actually be diet-friendly. I did not really want that because, hey, I am pregnant, and I need a day or two to indulge in my cravings fatty or not!

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So, getting down to the nitty gritty, here’s what you need for these dreamy breakfast muffins:

  • 200 gr wholemeal flour
  • 300 gr red cheddar
  • 125 gr plain yoghurt
  • 300 ml milk
  • 80 gr butter
  • one garlic head
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • A bit of oil for your tray (I used avocado spray oil)
  • 12 slices of prosciutto

Following the steps is quite easy and it takes you about 7-10 minutes:

  1. Grate 200 gr of cheddar, cut the remaining cheddar into small slices, lightly beat the egg and mince the garlic.
  2. In the flour bowl mix together the baking powder,milk,yoghurt and egg.
  3. Incorporate the grated cheddar into the mix.
  4. Put the butter in a pot and slowly heat it up. When the butter is all melted add the garlic and stir well for about 1 minute. Take the pot away from the stove.
  5. Spray the muffin tray with a bit of oil.
  6. Now you are going to make muffin sandwiches with quite a few layers: first, put the prosciutto in each muffin shape, add about one tablespoon of batter, add a teaspoon of the garlic infused oil, the cheddar slices and finally another tablespoon of batter.
  7. Put in the over (pre-heated at 180 degrees) for about 20 minutes, until they are brown on top. Yes they are not the best looking muffins once you get them out of the oven.
  8. That’s it! After they have cooled a bit, carefully take them out of the tray and serve them.

The combo of aromas is just too amazing and we both ended up finishing the entire tray of muffins in one sitting, but, to be honest, since it is the weekend I do not want to ruin my mood by thinking of how the scale is going to tip at my next doctor’s appointment. I can tell you that the little bundle of joy (which is very energetic these days) enjoyed them very much and I hope you will too!

L.

 

Tomato Madness!!!

The one thing that I have been madly craving during my pregnancy so far are tomatoes! I am telling you, our kid is going to hate tomatoes as I have had them twice daily (true, in different forms): soup and salad. I just love them! But not any type of tomatoes…No, those hard to find, sweet garden tomatoes! And they need to be a certain consistency for me to be happy… Therefore, one could argue that D had it quite difficult where my cravings are concerned so far, especially since tomato season is officially over, but I am still craving them like crazy!

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The bad thing about me craving tomatoes is the fact that you can’t actually order them online, no…In order for tomatoes to be perfect and satisfy my taste buds, they need to smell a certain way (yes, I am the weird person that smells tomatoes at the market), feel a certain way and look a certain way (I generally love the pink, non-perfect looking tomatoes). That being said, most of the time D found the precious, perfect tomatoes for me, except for two days ago, when he came home with these perfectly round and red tomatoes that obviously did not do much for my salad.

Which brings us to today’s post! I decided to venture in the kitchen to cook a cream tomato soup for the first time. While I do love to cook all sorts of other things, soups are simply not my cup of tea. Until this one. Besides the fact that I documented the whole thing on Instagram’s Stories, without having the slightest clue of how things will turn out (the pot could’ve exploded for all I know) – I now realise that could’ve meant social cooking suicidal – the damn thing turned out to be even better than either me or D expected, especially since I was too lazy to go out and buy anything and was left with using whatever I already had in the fridge/house – hence no fresh basil, but I did have a bit of fresh oregano leftover form the potatoes we cooked a few days ago (recipe here). I do admit that until now, I have been getting my tomato soup in a plastic container from the supermarket (fru-fru) which was great, but from now on, I will start experimenting with home made cream soups (make way for mushrooms, bell peppers etc).

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Let’s move along to the actual recipe for today… First of all, it will only take you about 30-40 minutes to get from ingredients to final product which means that there is absolutely no excuse to not try this recipe. Here’s what I had in the fridge for this one:

  • 1300 gr tomatoes
  • 180 gr red onion (two medium onions are fine)
  • 1 small pot of plain yoghurt (you can use sour cream, but yoghurt is lighter)
  • 10 gr of fresh oregano leaves
  • 15 gr of garlic (a small garlic head)
  • 3 tsp of vegetable cooking base
  • 1 tsp (not fresh) basil – fresh is better, but I was lazy and hungry yesterday
  • 1 tsp of pomace olive oil (you do not need more than that!)

Steps to follow:

  1. Roughly cut the tomatoes and the onions – do not stress about this step too much as it’s all going to go in the blender anyway.
  2. Slice the garlic, and pick the oregano leaves, arrange everything and take a few photos.
  3. Put the pomace olive oil in a pot and let it heat up for 30 seconds than add the onions.
  4. After the onion gets semi-translucent, add the sliced garlic and half of the vegetable cooking base and let them fry stirring continuously for another minute or two.
  5. Add half of the tomatoes and the basil and mix them all together until the tomatoes start peeling by themselves and then add the remaining tomatoes and let everything come to a boil (about 4-5 minutes).
  6. Add the oregano leaves and what is left of the vegetable cooking base and let everything boil for another 5 minutes stirring from time to time.
  7. Take the pot off the stove, let everything chill for 3-4 minutes and then blend everything really well – since we do not have an actual blender, I used the smoothie maker for this step, but everything turned out lovely.
  8. Put the pot back on the stove and bring to boil.
  9. Add the yoghurt, stir well and let it boil for another few minutes. You’re done!

This is one of those soups that you can make all year round using canned tomatoes or home-made tomato juice. It is nutritious, satisfying while also being low in calories and fats. This for me is the perfect lunch and I will start experimenting with soups as well because it was fun-fun-fun making this one. I added a bit of fresh ground pepper in the end, but if you do not like a spicy dish just skip that step. The nutritional info I’ve uploaded is for the entire quantity which provided four servings, so make sure you divide everything by four.

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D was truly impressed by this soup and by the fact that I managed to cook, take pictures and live-stream everything on Instagram all by myself without actually blowing up the kitchen, so I’d say this is a recipe everyone can make without stressing too much.

L.

The best dish you’ll have all autumn long!

Yes, I know this is the second recipe in a row, but I just couldn’t let autumn come for good and not share what is in my opinion the best thing you’ll eat all autumn long. Did I just repeat the post title? Well, yes I did and that’s because this recipe is just that good. This has to be my favourite dish for autumn dinners ever! First of all, I have nothing to do with the recipe in itself, as opposed to the other recipes presented here that all have some sort of twist from yours truly that strays away from the original inspiration, this one is presented to you exactly the way my mother taught it to me.

Yes, this is a family recipe. Well, to be honest, I am the second generation in our family that knows it, so I can say that my mother invented it. A bit about mom… She is what I call an ‘intelligent cook’. Why? Because never ever have I seen that women actually follow a recipe or spend more than 2 hours in the kitchen to cook an entire dinner. She just adapts and uses whatever tricks she can to come up with the best easy recipes ever, that can make you think that she spent an entire day in the kitchen. True, she has been known from time to time to screw things up, but she always jumps right back at it and perfects the recipe so that it is easy and very tasty.

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Today’s recipe is one of those easy, hearty and amazing recipes. First of all, this stew is usually made with meat and using the traditional ways, it can take up to half a day to make. My mom intelligently removed the meat (which is great for me) and used some newly acquired tricks to have this done in less that 1 hour – it took us more because we has to take photos of every step. If you are a meat lover you can always add whatever type of meat you like next to it, but I cooked this one yesterday without it. First of all, there’s nothing that says autumn better than mushrooms in white sauce so this is best for those chilly autumn evenings, especially, as you’ll find out at the end, this is not really a heavy meal but it is quit filling.

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What you’ll need:

  • 800 gr of white large mushrooms (you can easily go for 1 kg and not mess things up – like I said, mum is not really one for measuring the ingredients)
  • 3 large white onions
  • 300 gr of full fat sour cream (if you use a lighter version you’ll need a bit more flour)
  • 2 tablespoons of white flour
  • 1 cup of fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable base
  • 1 teaspoon of hot chilly powder
  • 2 tablespoons of pomace olive oil

What you need to do (keep in mind that although there are quite a lot of steps to follow, the stew is really easy to make and basically foul-proof):

  1. Cut the onion as finely as you can, but do not stress over that, slice the mushrooms in big chunky pieces if you want to feel their texture and chop the parsley.
  2. In a bowl mix the salt and the pepper and in another one mix the vegetable base with the chilly powder.
  3. After taking lots of pics of your ingredients (for some reason I find it extremely satisfying to take photos and edit food pics), put the oil in a saucepan and let it heat up before adding the onion.
  4. After about 5 minutes add a teaspoon of the chilly mix and half of the parsley and stir well for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add half of the mushrooms to the mix, a teaspoon of the salt and pepper mix and stir well.
  6. After abut 5 minutes add the remaining mushrooms and another teaspoon of salt and pepper mix, give it a good stir and put a lid on.
  7. When the mushrooms have left a considerable amount of water, pour the remaining chilly mix, give it a good stir and place the lid back on. Keep in mind that the entire recipe will need a moderate-low stove flame.
  8. Now for the tricky part… take the flour bowl and carefully incorporate water while stirring continuously until it reaches the consistency of sour milk (not too watery).
  9. Pour a glass of cold water to stop the boiling in the saucepan and carefully add the flour mix while stirring continuously. The cold water you just added will keep granulations at bay.
  10. Leave the stew to boil for a few minutes and then add the sour cream, the remaining parsley and what is left of the salt and pepper mix and stir well.
  11. Bring it to boil for another couple of minutes and that’s it!

Keep in mind that, if you do not like your food too spicy, you should cut in half the quantity of both the pepper and the chilly powder – my entire family enjoys spicy food, hence the spiciness of this one. I really hope you’ll love this recipe as much as I love it. As you can see from the nutritional info, this stew doesn’t go overboard on any unhealthy stuff and, as usual, the info is for the entire quantity. If you followed the recipe to a letter, you’ll end up with about 5-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are, and after dividing the numbers I’d actually say that this can be considered a light (about 170 kcal), warm dinner. If you like it, than pass it on to your friends and family!

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L.

Craving potatoes…Again…

We haven’t posted a recipe in a while now… Not necessarily because we have lacked in the cooking department – in fact we kinda did, with all the construction works going on – most of our cooking has been about D cooking wonderful breakfast recipes as surprises for me during weekends, therefore, no photos were taken to document that. Since some (all) of his dishes turned out AMAZING we will re-do them and post them here. Today is all about yesterday’s dinner and me craving potatoes again.

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This is a very easy to make dish, basically you can add anything in it, but I have to warn you, it needs 1.5 hours to be ready from the point when you only have the ingredients until you can actually enjoy it, so start before you are hungry. The ingredients are basics and to be honest, we had most of them in our house. This is yet again a no-meat dish because I still seem to have an adversity towards meat these days.

What you will need for about 30 potato patties:

  • 1kg of white potatoes (but you can use whichever type you like)
  • 2 eggs (we use free-range eggs that my mother brings me from the countryside every week)
  • 1 garlic head (not too big as you still want to feel all the other ingredients and potatoes tend to absorb the garlic flavour better than anything else)
  • about 8 young green onions
  • 300 gr of cheddar (we used both white and red cheddar – about 150 gr each)
  • 50 gr of butter (use full fat butter as it is better)
  • 15 gr of fresh oregano (you can use whatever fresh greens you like)
  • salt
  • pepper

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What you need to do:

  1. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grate the potatoes and put them in freezing water as you do not want them to turn brown. I was lucky enough to have D help me with this step as he knows how important my manicure is to me and I always seem to grate my fingers whenever I attempt to grate anything.
  3. Cut the onions, mince the garlic and the oregano and grate the cheese.
  4. Whisk the eggs and melt the butter (we used the microwave for the butter for about 30″)
  5. Get a big bowl as you are going to mix all the ingredients together. It doesn’t really matter what order you put them in, but it is really important to mix them really well.
  6. Start making patties from the mixture and arrange them on a tray (use some baking paper otherwise they will stick to the tray and that is very messy).
  7. Put them in the oven for about 40 minutes after which time you should add some cheddar on top of them and leave them in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  8. That’s it! Enjoy!

 

This is not the healthiest meal out there, but it is an ok one according to my UP app. Yes it is packed with saturated fat, but it is also almost equally packed with unsaturated fats and fibres. Now all the data you see here is for the entire quantity – that is about 30 patties – yes, we used two trays to bake the entire composition, but you can use half of the ingredients. That means that one patty provide about 70 kcal which, in the grand scheme of things, is not that much. Naturally, nobody can only eat one, so I’d say that one serving consists of three-four patties, so it is rather ok for dinner.

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L.

 

Integra

Despite the fact that our seaside season is over thanks to all of the rearrangements we have to do in our house to make sure it is ready to welcome our little bundle of joy, we haven’t left there without having a great lunch at one of the first places we tried out in Constanta: Integra. This place was recommended to us by one of my best friends and the thing I loved about it even before arriving there is the fact that they have a raw-vegan menu packed full of delicious dishes. Naturally throughout the years I have tried most of the raw menu and I have to say, that thanks to this place my mind was changed when it came to the raw-vegan cuisine.

I do not think we ever went to the seaside once without having a meal at this lovely place. True, it does have the location advantage, meaning that it is at about a 10 minute walk away from our place there. At first glance, the place looks very nice and the interior design is a nice combo of fresh plants and lovely marble which immediately make you want to take a seat. The menu has about everything you could ever crave, somewhat of an international cuisine with a little turkish mix of dishes. And then, of course, there is the raw-vegan menu, where you literally can find everything from appetisers, soups, pasta, pizza, desserts and even a few amazing fresh cocktails.

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Back to our last experience there…unfortunately, we couldn’t take as many inside pictures as we would’ve liked as the place was quite full at the time we were there and there’s always that uncomfortable feeling when you take pics of total strangers, but you can find quite a lot of photos on their site. Normally, this is the place we choose for our before the road lunch or brunch, depending on how early we wake up. This time it was definitely lunch time and because we knew we had next to nothing in our fridge at home, we decided on a full lunch: soup, main dish and a shared a raw dessert. As usual when we eat there, we start off with one of their amazing fresh raw juices, this time choosing Green energy and Fountain of Youth. These two cocktails are amazing and very healthy especially after a busy night at the seaside. Like I said, we both ate a soup, I went for my usual tomato soup which is a must-try and D chose the lentil soup which turned out to be better that I expected. As main courses I needed something savoury and light so I went for the oven cooked feta cheese with tomatoes and onion that was absolutely delicious. D chose the beef Iskender that besides looking amazing it tasted like heaven, and that, coming from me during this period where meat is the last thing that I crave, is something! As for dessert we chose to share the Rainbow Tart from the raw-vegan menu. As with all their raw-vegan dishes, this was delicious!

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Despite the restaurant being full, the food came decently quick and the staff was very friendly and professional. This place is not among the cheapest nor among the most expensive, our three-course lunch cost us about 40 E tip included which is really good for Constanta, especially since the food is so amazing. We will definitely come back here as often as we will come to Constanta!

L.

 

The first three months in pictures…

As promised, we have put together a post with some photos we took from our first trimester of pregnancy. Also, the beautiful personalised mason jar in the featured photo is from a gift from our lovely friends at Atelier Funky Fresh. Check them out! They can do basically anything you like in terms of decorative personalised pieces!

First Month

Second Month

Third Month

L. & D.

Potato cravings…

Continuing the ‘Cravings’ series during my pregnancy. Like I said in a previous restaurant post, I am currently craving potatoes in any form possible – I do prefer them fried but I am way too lazy to do them myself. It is weird, as I normally do not like potatoes very much, I do love the sweet type, but not plain potatoes, but hey, what can I do? To all those wondering out there, I am gaining fat in a normal and steady pace that is healthy for our baby, and yes, once I end this pregnancy period it will be my goal to get in better shape than I used to be before the bundle of joy decided to enter our lives.

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Back to the potato cravings… I really wanted something similar with french fries, but I hate eating unhealthy, especially now, so I decided to try and cook them in the oven with as little oil as possible, and judging by the Jawbone score, these are probably the healthiest and closest to french fries I will ever get at home.

Here’s what we used:

  • 10 small potatoes
  • 1 sweet red pepper
  • 2 small pots of greek yoghurt (we like the buffalo type as it is supposed to be healthier)
  • 50 gr of grated parmesan
  • 1 cup of grated low-fat mozzarella
  • 15 gr of fresh dill
  • 15 gr of fresh chives
  • 10 gr of fresh thyme
  • 3 garlic heads
  • 1/2 teaspoon of hot chilly powder
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of BBQ seasoning

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The way this dinner is made is quite easy and it takes you less than 40 minutes – photoshoot included – to complete it. The steps are very simple:

  1. Arrange all the ingredients and take photos of them
  2. Wash the potatoes and cut them into medium sized pieces – yes, we did not remove the skin!
  3. Dice the sweet red pepper as little as you can
  4. Finely chop all the greens and mince the garlic
  5. Take some more photos!
  6. In a big bowl put the olive oil, the soya sauce, the chilly powder, the BBQ seasoning, the diced sweet red pepper,the parmesan, all of the thyme, half of the chives, one third of the garlic and the sesame oil and mix them all together really well
  7. Put the potatoes in and make sure they are well covered in the resulted seasoning sauce
  8. Pour them on a tray, sprinkle some parmesan over them and into the heated oven the go (we heated the oven at max) for about 30 minutes – you should start tasting them after about 20 minutes
  9. In a bowl, mix the greek yoghurt with the remaining chives, dill and garlic and there you have it – the perfect dip!
  10. Arrange everything as nicely as possible on a plate, put a decent amount of mozzarella cheese on top of them and enjoy after taking some more photos!

I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious this dinner was! This is definitely a very comfortable way of cooking potatoes for those people that are afraid to cook with hot oil – it seriously attacked me every time I attempted using it! My Jawbone app deems it as ok health-wise, so this dinner will occur more often during my pregnancy! Just remember that the data shown is for four servings so do the math accordingly!

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L.

The first three months…

As you’ve probably noticed our posts tend to be in sets of threes lately and that is purely coincidental with the fact that soon there will be three of us posting here. No, in fact it has nothing to do with that and everything to do with the fact that we have been gone a lot lately, our house is a mess as we are doing a bit of redecorating/ baby-proofing and my constant tiredness. Taking each of these into consideration you’ll have to excuse my lack of daily posts and I promise that as soon as I can I will be back on track.

Back on the topic of today’s post subject: the first trimester of pregnancy. This is solely my experience and so far I have come to the conclusion that everyone experiments this time totally different, but here it goes… For the first five weeks we were’t even been aware of the miracle that started to form inside me, no sickness, not much actually, except for a feeling of constant lack of energy which, beside a few painful episodes and my period being late, have convinced us that it was time for a medical check -up. You’ve read all about the very emotional news we got at the doctors’ in this post here, so I will just skip the first five weeks altogether as I feel that most women do not really acknowledge the pregnancy until later on.

For me, the first three months have been bliss, especially if I compare my experience with some other women’s first trimester. I did not get any sickness at all, morning or otherwise so that helped me function a bit better throughout the whole period. I did however experience episodes of extreme sleepiness to the point that I wasn’t able to drive anywhere. As a matter of fact, this has only changed well into my forth month, but it did get better in time. Nor did I experience any weird cravings, but I did feel the need to eat a bit more (bout 300-400 kcals extra), but luckily, I mostly craved vegetables and fruits. I’ve noticed that meat, in any form makes me sick, and I do not mean sick as in throw up, but sick as in it did not feel right for my digestive system (but I suffer from this for a few years now – so no surprise there). Therefore, if you ask me, my weight gain has been constant and I have gained 1 kg per month and it still goes at that rate right now.

I was very aware of the fact that the first trimester is full of risks so I did try and not overdo it, but despite that, sometime in my 9th week I experienced a bit of bleeding and this is where I think that all future moms should be very careful! When I looked it up online, dr. Google kept telling me that it was normal, but when I called my doctor he immediately gave me hormones and it’s good that he did as a week later, at the ultrasound we discovered a small hematoma near the baby that healed nicely thanks to the hormones, but if not treated properly, it could’ve cause us to loose the pregnancy! So there you have it: my relationship with dr. Google is finished forever! All future moms should stay clear of looking for medical stuff online! I took the nasty hormones for almost two weeks and I have to say that that was the period when I actually felt the worst, not physically, but emotionally. Those hormones made me feel horrible, either having a rage attack (luckily most of the times I was by myself) or being emotional af (which really sucked BIG!). Once I was done with them, my old self started to resurface and I was yet again being the happiest person alive!

Another annoying first trimester symptom was the constant bloating and feeling full. This is super uncomfortable because you feel and look like you are in your fifth month when in fact you barely past your second, and you have this constant feeling that it is because of all the food you are eating, when, in fact, there is not much extra food you are actually eating during this time. Also, because of the horrible bloat, not many clothes fit or look right and that tends to be a big blow to the morale of a pregnant woman that already is hormonal and emotional most of the time. I was very lucky because of my entire work arrangement. I have no idea if I’ve told you by now, but I work with and for my parents which left room to a big advantage right when I needed it most: I got to stay at home from the second month because of the fact that I was longer able to drive to work thanks to the constant sleepiness. This was a great gift especially during the bloated days, and no, I did not get bored at home, I loved every minute of sleeping during the day! Hey, I’m an only child, I never get bored of myself!

Despite me feeling amazing on the inside, my exterior looks had take an beating! I mean, maybe there is such a thing as a pregnancy glow, but all I got were greasy patches on my face, quite a few pimples that made me change my beauty routine and my thighs have become the paradise of cellulite. These are all symptoms of the hormonal changes happening in my body and can be reversed for the most part once I am ok after giving birth. I call all these changes the living proof that something amazing is happening inside my belly and I try as much as I can to either ignore them (I have become rather good at it) or embrace them. My beauty routine has switched from SEPHORA to the Pharmacy (more details in a Pregnancy Beauty post) and as for my cellulite, I try as good as I can to hide it either with clothes, a big SMILE (it takes everyone’s attention off it) or with the perfect non-toxic self tan from Vita Liberata (review here). To be honest, the best recipe is the self tanner!

The thing that most definitely contributed to my cellulite reserves, besides the hormones, is the fact that my doctor forbade me to go to the gym for the entire period of the pregnancy. He did allow me to go swimming, but since I am afraid of the water, all I am really doing, exercise wise, is to take a few long walks per week and right now to go through all my clothes and shoes in order to re-arrange the dressing room – the first steps to overhauling our house. This was a blow at the beginning, but since it is for my own good, I embraced it and I will use this as motivation for my post-baby body. All in all, I do understand where my doctor is coming from and I will never take any chances where my pregnancy is concerned. Aside from that, there is nothing that he forbade me to do, so I guess I am very lucky so far.

I did have a lot of medical investigations to make in the first trimester, most of them were blood investigations, and I did manage to pass them nicely. The first morphologic ultrasound was very good, and as a matter of fact the baby is a few days ahead than what we thought, possibly due to the fact that I have been relaxing and taking good care of my diet. We did travel a lot during the first trimester (Madrid – even though we were not aware at the time, Milan, Paris, Cluj, to the seaside a couple of times), and no, there were no problems because of that, as a matter of fact it feels nice to know that our bundle of joy was with us everywhere and that there were no incidents during or after the time. In fact, I think that the baby actually enjoyed all these short trips!

All in all, I can honestly say that this is the best period of my life! Do not get me wrong, 90% of the blame is on D as he has been the most amazing and perfect father-to-be! I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better husband and partner during this time. I am convinced that the fact that I have been feeling so great during this time is thanks to him and all his efforts! He understands me like no other, he doesn’t let me do anything in the house, all he lets me lift is a small bottle of water, he is there no matter what I need. This is really important during this period as thanks to him my spirits have been sky high!

We decided not to have one of those growing belly photoshoots that tracks how huge I am getting every month, but we do try and take as many pictures of ourselves throughout this period as I think that both of us will suffer some physical changes for the better. I will soon post a slideshow of photos from the first trimester to let you see how we have evolved during the time.

L.

 

JOBEN

This is the last post from Cluj for this year and it obviously involves food. The fact that this was the last place reviewed by us is intentional as I wanted to eat here last year as well but it was too full to be able to get a table. This year, we managed to get one and we excitedly waited for our Joben food. I want to start off by saying that this is the last reviewed place because it was our least favourite restaurant in Cluj and I honestly think that it is a bit overrated. Or maybe we were expecting too much of it, either way, it did not meet our expectations, especially since all our foodie experiences here were simply amazing. It is, however, extraordinarily decorated and it deserves a visit just for that, and if you are ok with eating ok-ish food.

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It is clear right from the entrance that someone very talented and passionate about steampunk decorated this place with all sorts of very specific paraphernalia. This actually helps a lot when you have to wait for your food for more than an hour, because you have all these amazing little gizmos to look at, and I have to say that we did not get bored one bit. The staff is also very friendly, but the place is a bit understaffed as it only had two waitresses for the entire restaurant area. Both of them were very nice and they struggled to satisfy every single one of the customers, but at some point, they messed up my lemonade simply because the place was full of people and mix-ups are bound to happen.

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On to the food… At first glance, even from last year, I knew there were quite a lot of things I wanted to try and after much pondering I settled for the White Chicks – even the names of the dishes are really funny – which are essentially crispy chicken strips, served with french fries and apple jam. D opted for ribs, naturally, but we both decided to start our lunch with a plate of Spicy Fried Pickles as that got both of our attention early on in the menu. The appetisers were extremely interesting and good which basically made us really anxious for out main dishes.My chicken was very good, but there was absolutely nothing special about it, maybe except for the fact that I had to dip it in jam. The fries were homemade, so that was a big plus but I did feel the need for a more spicy and tasty dip for them. D‘s ribs were ok, and you can see from the photos that there was nothing special about them whatsoever. They were plain oven cooked ribs with no special seasoning or anything. His potato chips were very good though, but again, they seriously needed some sort of dip. We did not want to wait to get dessert as that would’ve meant another hour of waiting as we did not order it from the get-go, so no sweet photos here.

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To be honest, aside from the interior design and the fact that they had a Pokestop, there was nothing special about the place, nothing that will make us come back next year. It was even worst as they did not seem to have any air conditioning, which during the summer makes eating there nearly impossible. I did hear that their coffee is great, but neither of us had any as we were both on our way back for another nap. The check came at about 30E which is ok, but we did leave there feeling very disappointed of the place. Maybe had there not been so many people the food would’ve been better, but that is no excuse as most of the places we ate at during the long weekend we spent in Cluj were full and the food was amazing.

L.

LIVADA

As you’ve probably noticed, our life at Untold festival revolved around sleeping, eating and enjoying great music. Even though it seems that our only goal in Cluj was to try as many restaurants as possible, I promise that we did other stuff as well, like going to the actual festival. The bummer about pregnancy, especially in the first four months is that between the eating, dancing and sleeping, I did not have any energy left to actually take some fashion photos. So far, the two fashion posts are the only ones you’ll see of us while in Cluj. But fear not, the Untold posts will soon end and trust me when I say that we have not reviewed one restaurant that is not worth visiting while in Cluj.

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The place we are going to talk about today is Livada. This place is just so great no matter if we are referring to the food, the design or the service. Some of the dishes in their new menu are signed by Chef Patrizia Paglieri, you know her from the Romanian Master Chef. That’s not to say that the dishes that are not signed by her are not delicious, on the contrary, actually everything on the menu is amazing and this is one of those places in Cluj where everyone can find something to eat on the menu. No matter if you are a traditional food lover or fan of the more modern cuisine, thanks to this new and exciting collaboration, Livada now has it all for everyone to enjoy.

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All of us eating lunch there had a sort of combo of dishes, therefore you get to see quite the diversity. I had the carrot soup with a hint of ginger and the homemade french fries with garlic and pickled cucumbers. Hey, I’m pregnant and like never before I am craving potatoes in any shape and size. And, I am a sucker for homemade french fries as I am always too lazy to actually make them myself and they are a rarity in Bucharest. Moving along from the french fries and let’s talk a bit about the carrot soup. The secret to the carrot soup is to actually feel the carrot taste skilfully combined with another ingredient. This is definitely what’s going on with this one, the ginger perfectly compliments the carrots. I really see no point in talking about the perfection of the fries as the photo says it all. D had the Gulash which is a traditional Hungarian dish that judging by the fact that he ate in exactly 5 minutes, I’d say was very, very good. Our friends that joined us for lunch had the cheeseburger which according to them was very good. Like I said, you can find everything your heart desires at Livada.

For dessert, D and I shared the traditional dumplings, and what I loved about them was the fact that they came in bite sized pieces which made it really easy and enjoyable to eat. Our friends ordered the signature Tiramisu which turned out to be delicious but way too big for only one person. We all had different types of lemonades, and I am mentioning them because they are really worth a try. Not surprisingly, the check for me and D came at about 35 E, so this one is at the normal price range for a great restaurant in Cluj. Service wise, this was good, but not amazing, we were however thankful that we did not have to wait for an hour for our food. This is a place we’ll definitely have to revisit next time when we are in the area!

L.