Thursday, February 17, 2011

Salvation Art - part four

It's been quite a while since I last bragged about my little "Salvation Art" collection. So here it goes again!
This is an oil painting that I found about ten years ago in a little shop that doesn't exist any more. When I saw it I was immediately transported by it's atmosphere to the narrow streets of my beloved Istria and Dalmatia. I saw myself strolling slowly in the late afternoon sun, listening to the sounds and voices coming from open windows, being comforted by the sight of the clothes moving gracefully in the wind on the clotheslines suspended between the old stone houses...
I decided to buy it right away, I think I paid about 15$ for it - my second most expensive Salvation Art piece!   It's about 90 cm by 60 cm (3 ft x2 ft) and signed by "Etta". I couldn't find out  more about the artist, there is an American artist Etta Deikman but I haven't been able to establish the link between her and this painting.
I love to look at it and I'm still stunned by the calming effect it has on me. Can't change it, I'm a romantic, nostalgic fool... I'm already looking forward to show you my next piece of found art!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Quick & Simple Heart-Shaped Dessert Recipe For Valentine’s Day

Scratching your head in search of last minute idea for something simple and very quick to make for your loved ones? Me too! So it happened that I remembered a simple recipe for a very versatile dough I used to make long time ago. Added an apple, some brown sugar and cinnamon and here is the result:
I think it looks lovely and certainly handmade but it took me less than 1 hour, with baking time, to finish it. As for the dough recipe, you'll need the same amount in weight of cottage cheese, margarine and flour. Nothing else, no eggs, no salt, no sugar...
I made the dough with 250 g of each. If your cottage cheese is to grainy you'll need to make it smoother with a hand blender or in the food processor. Add the margarine and mix well - mixing thoroughly with a fork is OK. Add the flour and continue to blend the ingredients with a fork or with the wooden spoon. If your dough feels to wet add a bit of flour.
Roll  the dough out  on the floured surface approximately 0,5 cm thick (1/5 of an inch), cut the hearths with a cookie cutter and place them on the baking sheet. Sprinkle each heart with some brown sugar and cinnamon if you like. Cut a small apple into thin slices and place 2 of them on each heart. Bake them in the oven on 380° F/180° C for 25-30 minutes. I wanted to color some apple slices in red but didn't have any red  food coloring left so I mixed some strawberry jelly powder with water and brushed the apple slices. Let them cool a bit and dust with icing sugar. If you want to make something more fancy here is my Valentine's blog post from last year. Bon appetit!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Building An Ice Palace

So I guess I WAS completely frozen in the end. Maybe not because of the freezing weather... I just read my last post and thought to myself that, in those almost two months since I didn't give a sign of  life, the situation didn't change much. I continued to struggle and to ask myself if I made the right decision. This really was a big change for me and it isn't over yet. What frightens me is that on the one side I appreciate the security and the stability of the job but on the other side I am overwhelmed by the desire to do something big and crazy. Like moving (again!) far away. Or creating my own company. Both of the ideas sound tempting and frightening at the same time. It's almost like a life decade thing. In my twenties I did the usual: studying, marrying and having kids. In mu thirties I started a new life and a new career in Germany. In my forties, I came to Canada and started another, completely new life and career. Well, okay, I didn't change my husband nor my kids, but everything else was new.
As I was taking a walk last week near my work place, I was passing by a construction site of the "Bonhomme  Carnaval" Ice Palace. It struck me that I was given the opportunity to build my life like the ice palace. I had to work hard and in difficult circumstances in order to build something strong and beautiful for my family. But unfortunately it couldn't last, so I had to do it all over again.
Sure It was different each time but beautiful non the less. I'm very proud actually of those palaces I had built even if they weren't meant to last. Am I ready to tackle a new one? I sure miss the excitement of it!
And as someone said it so wisely: change is the only constant thing in life... Thank you for being so patient with me!

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