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!

Processed with Snapseed.

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).

Processed with Snapseed.

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.


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.


Au Chien qui Fume

Au Chien Qui Fume…Here we are again…Me with a glass of something in front of me – the beer is not mine – and D taking pictures of me. The thing with French terraces is that most of the time the tables are so small that you have to order taking that into consideration. Apparently the French do take care of your silhouette. Another low point about French terraces is that usually, you feel like you are sharing your plate with the stranger next to you. All this happened to us the last time we were in Paris and ever since we have promised ourselves to never stop and eat at those types of terraces.


But, what do you know? When hunger strikes, there is no reason behind any choice you make. Luckily for us, hunger struck near this lovely French restaurant that actually had a terrace. It is called Au Chien Qui Fume and it’s the only terrace I’ve seen throughout Paris that actually has space between tables. This immediately made both of us want to give it a nice review so that other tourists visiting Paris will experience amazing French food in a very nice environment. So, moving along to the food. The menu consists mainly of French cuisine, but it doesn’t exclude anyone, so you can find vegetable based dishes, poultry, fish and basically anything your heart desires, all with a French twist, which is exactly what we wanted for our last lunch in Paris.


Obviously, both of us had to order some specifically French dishes, therefore I ended up with my favourite – The Onion Soup, and D chose the chicken casserole. What can I say? My soup was absolutely delicious and I knew at first mouthful that this place deserved a review on the blog. If you ever find yourself in Paris, make sure you give this place a try and especially the Onion Soup that was absolutely amazing. D loved his chicken casserole that not only looked amazing, but you could feel the taste of real free range chicken and fresh potatoes. Really, his dish reminded me of a chicken stew that my grandmother used to make me when I was little. Those were the days where you cooked whatever you grew in your yard, all natural, hormone free food.

For dessert I chose the Creme Brulee because, hey, we are in Paris, right? and D chose Ile Flottante which is a dessert I know from when I was little and again, my grandmother used to make it. It does seem like my grandmother was a specialist in French Cuisine, doesn’t it? Well she used to call this dessert ‘Bird’s Milk’ but it’s basically the same thing. The Creme Brulee was magnificent and I love the fact that great quality vanilla was used as that seems to be a rarity lately. I have to say that we were very satisfied with our lunch and we were actually sorry we only discovered this place on our last day in Paris as we really wanted to give a few other dishes a try.


The cheque came at about 70E which is more than decent considering the area as well as the fact that it’s full tourist season in paris right now. I also loved the decor and the fact that the whole restaurant was open and you couldn’t really feel where the inside area was ending and the terrace begins. It was very nice to feel like we were the only ones at our table especially taking into consideration our other experiences in Paris. This place is defiantly a must-try!




This Monday, for D‘s birthday, we both received the gift of finding another one of those few amazing places to eat in Bucharest. Don’t get me wrong, this city hosts a lot of ‘above-the-average’ restaurants, but only a few really good ones. Well, we found a good one and as much as I dislike writing restaurant reviews (because I’m only a food lover with no special schooling in the matter), this place deserves all the praising it can get.
First thing’s first, though, it was actually D who found the place as he finds all the great restaurants no matter where in the world we are. The same goes for wines! I’m just the consumer.

Back on topic… The place I’m talking about is called Norma and I’m not going to give you all the boring details about location as you can find that online just by clicking the bolded name. All I’m going to tell you about location is that it’s situated in a quiet, central area, in an old house, remarkably brought back to life thanks to the skills of architect Ioana Viziteu who also sketched the interior design keeping as much of the old house as possible. The result is a warm and calming place where the old is perfectly balanced by the new.




That is exactly what’s going on with the food as well. The kitchen is run by chef Sidia Sissoko (who also owns the place) and for foodies out there, this name should be familiar as he was one of the contenders at the MasterChef title a few years back. I mentioned a fusion between the old and the new where food is concerned because it’s obvious at the first glance on the menu that every dish is based on classic french cuisine but with a very actual twist. Neither of us is really a big fan of the french cuisine, but this fusion with new and exciting cooking techniques definately brought it back into our top 3 favorites. We both liked the fact that, unlike other fine dining restaurants we’ve been to, so far, this one has a wide variety of dishes in the menu. From appetizers to all sorts of meat-based foods, you really have a lot of thinking to do before ordering. Like true foodies that we are, we couldn’t resist and had three courses each. Seeing the menu, I was very thankful that I hadn’t had much to eat that day, because I really wanted to try as many things as possible (seroius drooling going on!).


As a first course, D chose the eggplant appetizer while I went for the tomato soup. What impressed me most about D‘s eggplant salad was not the way it looked (though the plating was amazing), but the fact that it tasted just like my mother’s eggplant salad that she makes out of her own garden grown eggplants following an old recipe that implies them being cooked over wood fire. That way of cooking is like an unicorn where restaurants are concerned, and to be quite honest, I’ve never had eggplant salad cooked this way at any other restaurant we’ve ever been to. All my close friends know that tomato soup is my favourite soup in the world, therefore choosing my first course was easy. Usually, this type of soup is served with mozzarella cheese and basil leaves. What is really unfortunate about most places is the fact that you can actually feel that the tomatoes (or most of them) came out of a can. Well, this one was different! I think that most of the tomatoes used for this recipe are plum tomatoes that were slowly cooked to perfection. Another interesting thing thing about this place is that it serves the tomato soup with goat cream cheese and basil caviar. Yes, I was a bit scared of the whole caviar thing as I wasn’t sure what that meant, but when the soup came I realised that it actually containd small balls filled with basil oil and fresh basil, which gave the soup amazing texture.



As a main, I chose the duck breast salad, while D went for the boneless beef ribs. My salad was perfection on a plate as it contained a lovely mix of greens, grapefruit and orange slices, dried figs and a lot of pieces of duck breast (A LOT!). What I didn’t expect, but was a lovely surprise, were the two mini-toasts on the side with goat camembert which deeply satisfied the cheese lover in me. D‘s ribs were a masterpiece. Everything from the meat quality to the way they were cooked, simply cannot be put into words. As D put it, they topped his number 1 ribs from Bistro Viena in Cluj.



Moving on to dessert. I was really thankful Norma serves only three types of desserts as at that point I really wanted to make an easy choice and start planning our next visit here. We chose the apple tart and the lemon tart. Every time we order dessert, the silent agreement between us is that we share them, that way we both get the best of the menu. The lemon tart was delicious and I honestly have no idea what the green cream on top of it is. Now, about the apple tart… It was heaven in my mouth! And I’m not really a fan of apple tarts, but this one was out of this world! Anyone going to Norma should really give this dessert a try.



Since it was basically late lunch time and D was driving and we had a fine bottle of wine prepared in the wine-freezer (details tomorrow), none of us had any alcohol to go with our meal. However, what anyone crossing Norma‘s doorstep should try is their Refresh lemonade! I’m not even going to put in the effort of describing this drink, I’m just going to say that it’s one of those MUST-TRY non-alcoholic drinks!

To conclude, this place has definately become one of our favorite places to eat in Bucharest right now, if not our number one already… As a price point, I’d say it is on the expensive side, but not very expensive. Our entire meal plus drinks and tips cost about 80€. In my personal opinion this place deserves every cent! We know we’ll come back at Norma as often as possible!


A little bit…CRAZY!!!

As you know by now, we decided to run away from Bucharest for (only) one day to the seaside. There’s no hotel to review as we stayed at our place there, but we do need to talk about some of the great places to eat while you’re there especially since the swimsuit season is about to start.


In order to give you a good and relevant review on a place we need to have eaten there at least twice simply put because one time could be just luck. This time we decided, since we were only staying for one night, to eat at the same place for dinner and lunch the next day. Surely, if we have an unpleasant experience for the first time, we wouldn’t risk going there for the second time. This weekend D chose CRAZY Restaurant (he usually takes care of our food itinerary wherever we go) in Constanta. First of all, if you decide on spending your summer holiday/weekend in Mamaia, you should know that aside from very few places there, you’d be better off eating in Constanta both mentally and physically. Usually restaurants on the beach tend to be mediocre at best and quite overpriced. 


Back to our CRAZY experience… Turns out this restaurant was a very good choice, but I would expect nothing less from D when it comes to food as he tends to do his research very thoroughly. First thing we did when we reached our destination was go out for dinner, turns out that wasn’t the best idea as unpacking, even for one day, tends to be very difficult after a bottle of wine. That didn’t ruin our dinner experience though… Because it’s dinner we’re talking about, the light in some of the photos is quite bad, but the atmosphere there was really nice thanks to that bad-for-photos light. As you can see, the pics we took on Saturday at lunch are a lot better. 

Ever since I first entered the restaurant, I liked the interior design very much, it’s fresh and eclectic. This place has a few distinct areas for the different activities you want to conduct there: it has a bar-lounge area, a coffee shop area, the said restaurant area and an extremely beautiful terrace. For more photos (professionally taken) you can check their Facebook page.


The good:

As I said, the interior design is a very big plus, the location seems to be a good one for Constanta and the menu is very varied with lots of dishes to choose from. Mainly it’s international cuisine with a few fancy dishes. You can find anything from soups, salads, ribs, poultry (cooked in a thousand ways), all sorts of meat to even raw cakes. The staff was very friendly and well trained and the food came very quick. Basically we ate the whole time we were there. One could argue that the restaurant wasn’t full on that Friday evening, but it’s a good thing then that we came back on a fully booked Saturday afternoon and the food came just as quick, so no shortage of staff there. 

Back to the dinner…we started with a plate of home-made nachos as we were very hungry from the road and we thought we’d have to wait a long time for a main course (we were wrong and full by the time we finished our nachos). D then had some ribs and I had the turkey breast and they were both as expected delicious and no, that wasn’t the hunger speaking for us. We decided to skip dessert and have a cheese plate instead for the remaining rose wine from Gramma. Overall, the experience was a very good one, hence we decided to come back for lunch the next day.




On Saturday, because the weather was very nice we had lunch on the terrace. D had the thai soup, which in my opinion looked like an aquarium with murky green water and totally grossed me out, but I can’t stand fish or anything coming from the sea. D said it was amazing so that was that with his soup. I had the ginger-carrot soup which was superbly done as you could clearly feel the rich flavour as opposed to other places where the carrot soup was quite bland. D also had the crispy taco (I was full at that point or rather I was preserving myself for dessert) with one of the best oxtail meat we’ve ever tasted. For desert we both had the raw chocolate cake and the carrot cake after which we were both sold on the place. In my opinion it’s very hard to not screw up raw cakes, but this one was very good. 



I really appreciate when you can find raw or vegan dishes in a menu, not because I’m a vegan, but because it shows that they are interested in satisfying as many people as possible.

As a price point, this place is very decent, on the low-medium level as our dinner check came at around 50€ wine included and the lunch check was about 30€.

The bad:

The first bad thing I’d like to mention about this place is that their wine list is very poor, with only three varieties for each type (colour). The other thing that annoyed me was the fact that I really can’t understand how you can serve such good food with frozen potato fries. It really bugs me! It was quite obvious that they use top quality ingredients and all the other sides were made from fresh vegetables so I really have to wonder why one would screw it up that way… Well that didn’t bother us too much as you can always choose a different type of side dish. However this is a place that we’ll definitely come back to whenever we will be in Constanta. 

Since we’ll probably go to the seaside quite often, we’ll try and put together a list of go-to places to eat there just to help everyone avoid those nasty places I was talking about at the beginning of the post.

CRAZY is defiantly on our good-food list for the seaside!



We are Evenly Matched…

Today was all about us (no, we are not celebrating anything). Orange and blue. And we had a blast!

On me:

t-shirt – H&M; jacket – ZARA; jeans – Diesel; shoes – Adidas Superstar Adicolor; bag – FURLA; bling – Swarovski; shades – Wood Fellas

On D:

t-shirt – Tommy Hilfiger; pants – ZARA; shoes – Polo Ralph Lauren; shades – Oakley; belt – Replay

We had lunch at Doncafe Brasserie and it was lovely as expected!

We’ll try and make Sundays more about us…


I hope you enjoyed my non-texting-bullshit post! 🙂