Friday, December 24, 2010

It will be a White Christmas

Greetings from Iowa! Woke up today and it's snowing, finally!

Wishing everyone a happy Christmas!
I will have time to update you about our airplane ride and more, after the New Years.
Sorry for the lack of photos but it seems I have reached my limit, so  I will have to figure out if I want to purchase more storage or finally switch to wordpress. Will see. 

Enjoy your Holidays with family and friends!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cakes and Yummy food

Today is our last day in Split, Croatia before Beli and I fly off to the Midwest.
For now I leave you with these images.

#1 Within the Diocletian Palace
#2 Cake my friend N. baked for our last Croatian lesson of the year
#3, #4 My mother in law baked a delicious chocolate cake and lunch!

Next post will be from Iowa. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Scenes from the weekend: an Elvis tribute, cookies, friends and lots of eating

Busy week/weekend for us.

 -thankfully it was a sunny weekend so we were able to take Beli to the playground, she was so happy.

-drove downtown and came across a free concert: a tribute to Elvis, the guy was very good. 

-Christmas shopping

-had coffee with friends here and here and here!

-had lunch with friends here

-baked white chocolate chewy cookies and drank mint-green tea with friends

-Beli helped Baki, Grandma decorate the Christmas tree and she said something that just melted my heart, " this is the most beautiful star in the world" a phrase my Mother-in-law had said days ago and she was beyond excited placing the ornaments on the tree.
 And she saw St. Nicholas on the eve of December 6th. She was afraid at first but when St. Nick called Beli's name and showed her a  present, she said, "poklon?" and ran towards him!

- I've been packing and rearranging the stuff in my suitcase.
 Amazing how quickly the weigh adds up, I know there is more than the 25kg limit! So how was your weekend? Did you baked cookies?Went shopping? Took long naps?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fresh olives from the trees to your table

Last year was my first time picking olives and for some reason I never got around to posting any photos.  I couldn't go a second time this year but hubby went to help his Grandma and uncle. I can't remember the exact amount of kilos that were harvested but the net amount exceeded well over 200 liters. But don't quote me on that!
( photos are from November of last year )

There were four generations working on the field.  Here is Great-Grandma and Beli working together.

The next step in the oil extraction process is cleaning the olives. I think if I say there were thousands of them, (green and plum colored olives) flooding the kitchen floor I wouldn't be exaggerating! The leaves, stems, and debris were removed. Beli was helping by taking the leaves from the bucket and putting them back with the olives! Great-Grandma never once complained! She said that work is her life and she actually enjoys it. She is such a trooper.

The final step involved taking the olives to a facility to be processed and then enjoy the olive oil until the next harvest! Hubby and I discussed that it would be a fun project to make our own labels to place on our olive oil bottles, just like those fancy ones from the grocery store.  That was last year and we never got around to doing it.
But this year we revisited the idea and my Father-in-law gave us the idea for the brand name. What do you think?

We incorporated Beli's name plus the family's surname. The back of the bottle reads: " This first pressed premium quality olive oil originates from a village in the vicinity of picturesque city of Skradin. Hand picked by family members."

*100% organic olive oil, love, care, passion, tradition, quality, taste.

 Please enjoy!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A panoramic view and DIY ideas

 A week ago I had lunch with my friend and I gave her the advent calendar I purchased from Lala. She loved it. She appreciated every small detail. I was so happy she liked her gift.

 This little guy is soaking in the sun and he has the best spot in town!
 A week from today Beli and I will be flying west across the Atlantic Ocean to see family and friends.  I have been busy cleaning, packing, buying gifts, doing laundry, and visiting friends.  Like this bird I'm also trying to soak in as much sun as possible, when it's not raining of course( which has been almost every day) On the other hand I'm looking forward to playing in the snow, making snowmen  and baking cookies with my nephews.

I have been thinking of some activities to do with the boys (5 nephews ages 6,5,3,3 and 11 months) and Beli. So far I'm loving these DIY Holiday Series from Kitchen Cornershot chocolate pops , snow globes made from stained sugar cookies and nutella play dough. If you have any ideas please do share, the more the merrier!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Mom asked me if I was going to make Christmas cards this year. I said oh sure. Expect them in the mail soon. I thought it would be a piece of cake to ask Beli to stand in front of the tree and say cheese!

This was our first attempt, but Beli was not interested in standing in front of the tree.
Fifth attempt, maybe sixth?
So we walked to the other side of the mall to see the elves and Santa's workshop hoping we could capture one photo with the three of us.

I think I will be making a photo collage with all these photos. That's a good idea right?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Swans~Labudi~Cisnes~ in the town of Skradin

This weekend we drove to Bribir (where hubby's grandparents have a farm) to see family and wish everyone happy holidays since Beli and I will be in Iowa with my family. I felt sad to be there and not have Beli's great-grandfather greet us at the door like he used to do. I miss him. We all miss him.

On Sunday we drove about 10 minutes to the town of Skradin to purchase a few items that we needed for  lunch.  During the winter it's a quiet town, but during the summer it welcomes thousands of tourists, even celebrities! I was surprised when we parked our car next to the grocery store and saw several swans swimming in the river. They were quite friendly and swam towards us.

After feeding the swans, we strolled around the town. It was a nice sunny afternoon. 

A few  homes we saw along the way. I love the green shutters.

How was your weekend? 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Cheesecake in a bowl

 Sniffles no more! I'm feeling better so it's time to bake. Thinking about what to bake for hubby's birthday earlier this week, I looked through my recipe book and found the notecard my friend had written for me a few years ago and I thought, "hmmm cheesecake, why not?"

This is the original recipe:
crust: (break crackers until you get crumbs then mix ingredients and press into cheesecake pan and refrigerate for 45 min)
10 graham crackers
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 large boxes (8 ounces) cream cheese
1/2 cup of white sugar
2 eggs (one at a time)
Mix at medium speed with electric mixer then pour into crust and bake 25 minutes at 375F. cool for 1 hour
1 large package of sour cream
4 TBSP white sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Pour mixture on cheesecake and bake for 7 minutes at 375F then cool and refrigerate overnight.

Now for my version of the recipe. 

I will call it Croatian Lemon Cheesecake in a bowl.

10 of these petit butter cookies crumbled with my mortal and pestle, add 100gm of melted butter, then 2 Tablespoonful sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Mix and press into 4 oven safe bowls and put in refrigerator for 30 minutes.


600grams (3 containers of abc krem sir) cream cheese

10 tablespoonful of white sugar  (**reduce to about ~5 Tablespoonful of sugar, because it turned out too sweet**)

 add one egg, mix, then add second egg.

Bake at 180 Celsius for 30 minutes.

( I don't have an electric mixer, so I used a whisk)

cool for 1 hour

400gm of kiselo vrhnje (sour cream)
2 tablespoonful of white sugar
2 teaspoonful vanilla
zest of one small lemon

mix and add to cheesecake.bake for 7 minutes at 180Celsius.

Cool and refrigerate overnight.

I know the recipe says to cool overnight but both hubby and I couldn't resist our curiosity of how it turned out so we shared one bowl. I think I added too much sugar because it was too sweet. It did taste like 'real' cheesecake although the consistency was crumbly. Adding lemon zest was a good choice. It may look a bit plain, but I guess it can be garnished with fresh fruit. I 'm thinking blueberries, strawberries or even blackberries?
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