Monday, 23 September 2013


The blog's time in Blogger was great, but it's time to move on to a new home. Join Maria's blog at :)

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Flying Away festival - Nicosia

I admit this post comes a week late, but it has been a very hectic week which included moving into a room without internet connection or heating (it's not as if we live in the 21st century after all) and having intense conversations with an uncooperative and unprofessional delivery guy.

Anyway, back to topic, the Flying Away festival: it first started in 2009 and aims in showcasing the work and talent of Cypriot artists, be it musicians, jewellery designers, painters, you name it. It was easily one of the best festivals I've ever been to - and I don't even like festivals that much. 

This was the view from above - picture taken when we accidentally ended up on the wrong side of Orfeas Stadium.

Buzzy with live music and bouncy castles! We quickly made our way in and then straight to the food stalls (you should have known!).

...and then it was time for some shots. My humble opinion is that Cyprus talent is severely underrated. Nevertheless, in a true Cypriot manner, and even though I always ask before I shoot, some artists actually assumed I was trying to steal their ideas by taking pictures of their work. Not a good policy to attract potential costumers. Or people trying to promote your work. 

Needless to say, most of them were quite passionate about their work and eager to talk about it - and I was happy to listen. A picture is worth a thousand words so here you go:

The following beauties are handmade from papier-mâché, painted very patiently and labouriously by hand. Quite possibly an once-in-a-lifetime possession.

The Boy's favourite:

There was even a stall selling vintage (or not) clothes, where I found these fabulous Litas:

However, probably my favourite stall was the one with these beautiful handmade recycled crafts by Maria Neophytou (unfortunately I can't find a link, but I can provide you with her telephone number upon request). The crafts were stylish and witty and Maria was a pleasure to talk to.

Also, I was glad to see the new line be jewellery designer Tonia K, 'Κάνε την Κύπρο μόδα' - make Cyprus fashionable. Indeed, the line comprised of  a number of pieces promoting Cyprus, some more sarcastic than others:

If funky, fluorescent necklaces are not your thing, you can still promote the Homeland with a more discreet little bracelet, priced at a mere 10Euros:

Last but not least, PAWS were there, finding loving homes for dogs who had a rough start in their lives. I was happy to see that by the end of the festival they had found homes for almost all the dogs.

Hello you.

Me and my family also got our dog from a dog shelter, and the gratitude these dogs show is immense

However, if for some unforeseen reason your home doesn't have room for a lifelong four-legged friend, you can still help out financially by buying some of the dog-related things they sell:

Last thing - if you already have a dog, please, please neuter him/her. There are simply not enough homes for all the homeless dogs, with only the lucky ones ending up in a shelter such as PAWS. You really don't need to make this problem even worse by having even more puppies.

That was FAF 2013. I already look forward to the 2014 one, and I think you should too.

Sunday, 8 September 2013


Although in the past I had an on and off relationship with my blog, I was and still am (and forever will be) a full-time blog reader. Blogs are more personal than mere status updates, and in all honesty, I don't really want to know how drunk you were last night. These are some of my favourite ones. Enjoy and feel free to add your own recommendations!

Kevin and Amanda
This is probably my favourite blog in the whole wide blogosphere. It features all the things I have a weak spot for: dogs, sinfully delicious desserts, travelling, and all the photography and blogging tutorials you'll need.
Told ya.

If you're excited about Kevin and Amanda, I highly recommend a visit to Carla's chocolate moosey blog as well. Carla's recipes are easy and accessible even to the newest kitchen novice. The photographs, however, are truly impressive and show some serious skill. They are bright and colourful and they make you happy just by looking at them!

See? Don't tell me this didn't bring a smile to your face!
Nevertheless, Carla doesn't keep all these photography techniques to herself, and shares some of her tips for great photographs. If you're going abroad on holiday this summer, don't miss her post on travelling photography.

Next up, is Lindsay from Pinch of Yum. Lindsay is good with her camera and making people's mouths water. In fact she's so good, she wrote a book about it! Her recipes are also very good, and if you're a vegetarian don't forget to bookmark, as Lindsay makes even zucchini pancakes look good.

Vegetarians, you're welcome.

This may raise a few eyebrows, but the author of the next blog cooks everything with beer! Jackie, the author of The Beeroness, manages to marry anything and everything with craft beer. Highly recommended if you'd like to try something different, again with great photography.

Chocolate Stout Cherry Pie anyone?

The next blog author is probably the youngest one I read, but so incredibly talented I wish I was like that when I was her age. Tieghan from Half Baked Harvest never fails to impress with her fabulous shots and great recipes. She even includes a recipe for pita bread - which I didn't know and I'm Greek! Truly well done Miss.


The next blog is not about food (sometimes I take breaks). Instead it's Eleni Xenou's blog about travelling, people and experiences. This corner of the internet is less visual in terms of photography but it's no less interesting as it focuses on Ms Xenou's remarkable writing. If you happened to come across her work in the Cyprus press and you liked it, I suggest you bookmark this and get her book.


Last but not least, the Letters of Note. Although not as interactive, this blog brings to light a variety of letters which deserve to be published. Just to give you a taste, letters include (among others) a letter Ronald Reagan wrote to his son a few days before he got married, a letter Danny DeVito's mum sent to Kirk Douglas thanking him for casting her son for the movie Scalawag, as well as a letter of a former slave to his former master in 19th century US. To sum up, as the subtitle says, it's 'correspondence deserving a wider audience'.

This is for now, but if you're into more reading-candy, check back every now and then as I'll be adding more blogs.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

All about Ceviche

This is not a recipe.

Ceviche is not a recipe, it's a concept: seafood marinated in citrus juice. As simple as that, and as versatile as it gets. In Peru where ceviche originates, the idea is to use whatever is the catch of the day, with the fish varying according to what was available, and then marinated in citrus juice when the acid from the juice denatures the proteins in pretty much the same way cooking would.

This time, I went for sea bass, but any white firm fish would do - nothing that would dissolve in the lime juice or just break apart - think lemon sole, sea bream, tilapia or even scallops. It goes without saying that it has to be as fresh as possible so go to a fishmonger you trust. Ask them to fillet it for you, or if you're feeling adventurous buy it whole and fillet it at home like I did.
Once filleted, you can either cut up the fish in cubes or slice it thinly. Even top chefs disagree about this but I'll tell you what - if you prefer it to be thoroughly 'cooked', go with thin slices. If you want to go for a bit of a contrast between a 'cooked' exterior and a close to raw interior, go for the cubes. See? Versatile.

Concerning the marinade, you could experiment with anything from lime and lemon to grapefruit and orange. Jamie Oliver also recommends Japanese yuzu! In this case I went for half a pink grapefruit and the juice of one lime. Obviously, depending on your amount of fish you adjust the amount of juice accordingly.

Now, the spices. I used chilli (half of it to be precise), but again, sky's the limit. You could add ginger, finely sliced red onion, coriander, whatever tickles your fancy. Add everything to a bowl or a tupperware container, season with salt, give it a good stir and let sit in the fridge for fifteen minutes.

After the fifteen minutes have passed, take it out, give it another good stir and check the fish. It should have turned opaque and somewhat firmer. If you like what you see, the ceviche is pretty much ready. However, I couldn't just serve such a pretty sight without a few more touches.

I added some of the pulp from the grapefruit and decided I also wanted to serve it on a bed of avocado ribbons. To do this, just take a peeler, and start peeling away the flat side of the avocado, until you have a happy little pile of thin avocado ribbons.

However, to avoid mushiness (technical term), you could peel the avocado directly onto the serving plate. Alternatively, you could just cut it into little cubes and stir it into the fish - I did both.

If you're not into my avocado creation, your fridge is your oyster. You could go to town with fruit like pomegranate seeds, grapefruit pieces and passion fruit pulp or herbs like mint, parsley or coriander. Anything which would complement the fresh and zingy ceviche will do.

Go on, impress a date.


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