Saturday, March 31, 2012

Test draft

Writing something


Family day at the farm and Easter eggs are up!

Well, it was a nice feeling when seeing all the colorful eggs up on the pussy-willow again... It connects my childhood memories of blossoming snowdrops, later the lively tree blossoms everywhere and daffodils or tulips outside with my other favourite , the primerose or we say "petrklic" the key to spring!

Oh no, none of that in Calgary but we have sunshine ... tulips in a vase and my 2 men giving me lots of kisses and smiles makes up for it(:

Maybe I go buy more potted flowers!

Our son enjoyed seeing all the animals at the farm where we did the Kids Easter Egg Hunt today... That was some fun... He kept saying: "funny and phew... There is another poop ((: mama...".

Hope you are having a joyful Saturday! Ciao Z

with goats;

with hens;

sooo cute!

our family room;


eggs and birds((:

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tina's Carbonara with Spinach Spaghetti

Hello and happy pre-Easter Weekend to you all!

First, and finally we have a bit of spring weather and warmth in Calgary too, and my son helped me buy some lovely pink and yellow Tulips and pussy willows to SPRING UP our home(:

On another, tasty note, a recipe posted by TINA on her famous and fabulous blog: "THE ENCHANTED HOME" inspired me to whip up this delicious Carbonara today with a few little changes. BUT what I love about Tina's recipe is the fact that she completely skipped using any cream in it and yes, that would not work in ROME as this recipe calls for a creamy sauce, yet I think her idea is very fresh and new, lighter and sometimes WE JUST don't feel like eating a cream sauce again...

So I did it, no cream and my husband loved it...I devoured it! Spoon and fork...hand in we go...

Here is how I made it:

1. Fry about 1 1/2 cup chopped double smoked (polish) BACON with a little bit of OLIVE OIL. You may add 2 cloves of peeled and minced garlic at this point and fry with the bacon but I did not do that this time...just was not a good time for garlic if you know what I mean ((:

2. Add 250g of SPINACH PASTA cooked ahead of time ... (this is how: slightly al dente, cook with a bit of oil in the cooking water so that the pasta wouldn't stick together, drain and rinse in cold water and let it sit in the sieve for a little bit).
Fry until some pasta is a bit crispy but not too much and not all ((:

3. Mix well 2 EGGS with 1 cup of PARMIGIANO CHEESE until completely blended.

4. Add the mixture to the pan and start stiring it around.

5. Easy right? Just add lots of FLAT LEAF PARSLEY chopped very fine and blend it in the pasta well frying a bit longer (I use one big bunch of it) and the little extra cooking flavours the whole dish after parsley just a bit more than sprinkling it up top when you are done cooking.
Add SALT and PEPPER to taste and voila!

Hope you have a lovely weekend, please let me know if you enjoyed cooking with me!
CIAO Zaneta

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chicken Paprikash recipe and how I make it step by step!

I love cooking and feeding my 2 men, my son and my husband. It is just important to eat well in general, and tasty food makes it more exciting and we love healthy too.
I just don't over do it with the low fat or zero fat trends as my son being a toddler and developing his brain every day needs all different types of fat in his food and really, coming from a Czech background, we have no understanding for fat free milk or dairy for example and we love butter, just like the French or the Italians their olive oil...I suppose. I hope it would suffice to say that nobody in my family is overweight despite our diet filled with some tasty fats!

I believe that everyting should be in moderation, we drink homogenized milk and eat mediterranean yoghurts and I am a size 2 or 0 in North America (:

Now the more fun part, my son is 2,5 yrs old and eats everything I give him - a dream for a mother who loves to cook as much as I do. He eats all vegetables and different spices, he loves Indian food as well as Italian or Greek or Czech and he will try anyting and that despite the fact that he eats slow, and has been only breast fed till 14 monts and would not take any solids till then, he is in short a difficult eater since a baby when it comes to chewing and swallowing. That goes to show, that your child will eat everything you will give them if you don't back down. But there is a whole book about that strategy...I am also reading it now, it is called "Bringing up BeBe" by Pamela Druckerman. I love it as it agrees with my Europen roots and it confirms my believes about how to educate my child. With food I certainly did it well, as he has an acquired international taste and for breakfast he wouldn't hesitate to eat sardines or harring...Don't you love that? Sometimes I give him soft Polish cheese spread with chocolate-hazelnut spread on top by this Belgium chocolate maker in town and despite that ...he does eat sardines another day. He loves it all! I may sound very determined here but I am a bit upset with the handout i got from the children's hospital about how i should lay food in front of him but never tell him "you must eat this or eat" because i would emotionally abuse him and possibly damage him for life etc. and when I asked them how can I trust this study and recommendation they are giving and if they can support it with facts, they couldn't tell me so! They only could tell me that based on that there are kids who only eat certain things like all yellow foods((: but that is all right according to them, just keep offering other types...well how is that supporting healthy eating habits? And what about the poor nutrition the kid is getting? Crazy if you ask me and annoying.
Yes I know this is supposed to be about a lovely recipe and not my ranting about kids' bad eating! Sorry! I think the book may open some parents' eyes though.

Now to this delicious CHICKEN PAPRIKASH recipe that I have made my own and we all just enjoyed it for dinner, I hope you like it too!
Have a lovely week, ciao Zaneta

Step ONE: Slice 2 ONIONS into thin strips and likewise 2 RED BELL PEPPERS.

Continue by frying them in a steel skillet on medium high heat with 1 tbsp CANOLA OIL and 1 tbsp unsalted BUTTER until the onions turn golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionaly.

Step TWO: Cut 8 CHICKEN THIGHS (boneless & skinless) or if you prefer (3 large) chicken breasts instead into bite-size pieces and add them to the skillet, add oil if needed and fry for few minutes, browning the chicken well.

Here they are ...browning, for about 5 minutes on medium heat.

Step THREE: Cut 3 MEDIUM size TOMATOES and add them to the skillet too.

Step FOUR: Put all the spices in the skillet as well: 3-4 dried BAY LEAVES, 1 tbsp HUNGARIAN PAPRIKA, SALT & ground PEPPER to taste, 1 tbsp (or more) SUGAR.

All spices and tomatoes are in the skillet...stir it and cover with a lid, cooking on low for about 10 minutes stirring occasionaly. We want to cook the tomatoes well, so they are nice and soft and give our dish a lovely flavour when combined with some salt and sugar, as that is essential when cooking tomatoes in my opinion.

As you may see, we uncover it and tomatoes look very well cooked and we have lots more liquid in our skillet from all the vegetables and meat that cooked COVERED on low heat for a while. If you don't have enough liquid just add some broth, but it is not a desired outcome (:

Step FIVE: In a small bowl, wisk 1/2 cup of CREAM with 1 tbsp of all-purpose FLOUR and when the texture is smooth, stir it into the skillet. Add 1 tbsp of squeezed LEMON juice as well as 1/2 cup of SOUR CREAM. Gently stir into the skillet and keep cooking on low heat with a lid on for just a few minutes until the sauce thickens.

What a lovely sauce, right?

Dobrou chut in Czech or Bon Appetit in was a nice meal, hope you like it too.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Waterworks Empire Tub and Which would you choose?

This is my utmost favorite tub that I have seen, it is fitting any (but well designed) interior I think and reminds me of the very first wooden tubs I perhaps saw in the old French movie "Angelique, marquise des anges" and even though it is vastly different, I see the resemblance and romance it is connected with!

I have collected images of this tub over time in various settings after I noticed it in a Calgary based store.

Which one do you like? If I ever renovate our master bathroom, I know which tub will be there ((:
Here are some beautiful bathrooms and they all have one thing in common the Waterworks Empire Tub, so which do you choose?

Have a wonderful weekend, Z

Old World European Villa Style.
By Andrea Schumacher.

Carrera Marble in the shower, country style European tile flooring make it be the French Country Elegance in its best.

Montecito California with Italian Style mix.
By J. Grant Design Studio.

Sophisticated Key West Style.
By Pinto Designs and Associates.

French Chateau Elegance.
Source Unknown.

Victorian Modernity.
By knowles ps.

Traditional Style with Cowboy Country Sensibilities.
By Becker Studios.

Traditional look with mosaic tilework that brings out a sense of serenity.
By Artsaics Studios.

Victorian Style with Clean lines.
By Studio William Hefner.

French Country Sophisticate and understated simplicity.
By Cynthia Lynn Photography.

Angelique bathing the children.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wallpaper and our powder room:

Seeing the lovely wallpaper from Tina from the Enchanted home blog, I remembered the renovation in our main floor powder room that we also did. Custom mirror with crystal chandelier from Schoenberg was one thing we put in. Yet we kept the vanity but added beautiful also crystal handles instead of the simple brushed chrome ones that i took off all the cabinets in the house... And put them in the donation pile. They were not my taste ...
We also put in mosaic floor tiles that replaced the ugly green tiles that used to be everywhere(:
Now the wallpaper was the very first thing I bought when we bought the house! I knew I want the French yellow walls in main areas and la Provence blues and Gray-Blu's and some green colour walls everywhere else. All of these colours are shown in the wallpaper itself too!

the Enchanted Home Blog Inspirations: I love these rooms!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Peter Pilotto's prints - fashion continues!

This is a way we see modern prints today, less referential but more abstract. I enjoy the futuristic & surreal feel that Peter Pilotto showed in his ss 2012 collection.
And it doesn't hurt that it is all shapely and body tight, a very feminine and sexy outcome.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring closet update:

I finally got to buy a spring pleated skirt and a sheer knit top in nude Colour and will definitely do more, just as soon as I decide whether to get pregnant again or not(: because that changes my style drastically! Or actually my size, not style... I still wear tight sexy stuff with high heels of course.

Anyways, here is my stylist's perspective on what you should be looking for in the stores now.

1. Deco looks or dropped waist frocks and skirts and it is my personal favorite fashion period - 20's are always a classic! But now more than ever;

2. Show your ABs but not your belly button! High waisted skirts and cropped tops that I used to love in the 90's and Elizabeth Taylor in 50's are back ... just today i think with way cooler fabrics and prints;

3. Nude, yes that sounds sexy and try that in the bedroom but I am talking hues and Colour pallets - they are soft and muted and either beige nudes or with a hint of Colour like a delicious pastel pistachio perhaps or cream yellows, we have lots of choices this spring;

4. The modern prints - computer generated or very out of this world and artistic creations are seen everywhere! So don't you think that you can get away with the last seaon's ones! Everyone will be able to tell(: go shopping!

5. Get physical - active looking clothes is perfect for a mother like myself, staying trendy and in style and ready to run after my 2 year old son! Please do not confuse this with lulu lemon stuff that belongs to the gym not on the street!!!

By Nicole Miller - look no.5

By Isabel Marrant - look no.5

By Jonathan Saunders - look no.3 (even ombré in pale hues)

By Valentino - look no. 3

By Diane Von Furstenberg - look no.3

By Dior - look no.1

By Dolce & Gabbana - look no.2

By Lanvin - look no.3

By Alberta Ferretti - look no.1

By Dolce & Gabbana - look no.4 and no.2