Moussa…Who? MOUSSAKA: the Reigning King of Satisfaction!

So some time ago someone decided they wanted a succulent, hearty meal that satisfies not only your appetite but sends explosions of taste throughout your mouth all the while transporting your senses- making you smile, relax and enjoy life…Leave it to the Greeks to invent such a dish! (Is that any surprise?) Presenting: Moussaka!

Beware though, Moussaka is not for the faint of heart! A small portion, accompanied by a salad or Horta, goes a long way. This is, in every sense a real-deal, hearty-meal. I prepare mine with a meat sauce (lamb is more typical, but any ground meat will do). Of course eggplant rules here, along with potatoes and a mouthwatering, creamy bechamel sauce tweaked with eggs. This happens to be my husband’s favourite meal- so I prepared this one for his birthday! To keep it a surprise, this time I cooked in my basement kitchen- I love that I can switch it up like that;)

Here’s the way I make my Moussaka:

Ingredients:

  • Meat sauce (prepared in advance)
  • Sliced Potatoes (enough to fill two layers of a baking pan-of your choice)
  • Eggplant (enough to abundantly fill one layer of a baking pan of your choice)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of flour
  • 3 tbl sp of butter
  • Milk as needed
  • 3 eggs  (Some people put upto 5- let’s keep it light at 3;)
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 tbl sp of grated Graviera cheese (or Parmesan)
  • Pam or olive oil to coat your pan

Let’s begin!

(To save time, make sure you’ve prepared a meat sauce in advance).

Slice your potatoes, salt and bake on light broil till golden – turn over and broil again (no oil- just Pam on the baking sheet).

Once broiled, layer in a baking pan. Next, cover potatoes with your meat sauce.

Slice your eggplant, salt and proceed as you did with potatoes.

Once broiled, layer over the meat sauce. (Then, again, cover these with more meat sauce).

Add a last layer of broiled potatoes over the meat sauce.

Now, for the Bechamel!

In a large pot, mix butter and flour until they amalgamate.

When it starts to sizzle slightly, add milk. Continue to stir as it thickens (you don’t want it to stick to bottom of pan and burn!) AND keep adding milk.  Add a bit of salt as well.  Continue to do this until you get a nice thick sauce. Sprinkle about a table spoon of grated Graviera cheese-or- Parmesan cheese (only if you’d like!) I did;)

Once the bechamel is ready, wait a few minutes off the burner- Then place pot in fridge to speed up the cooling process.

On the same token, place eggs in warm water to heat them up a bit (so there’s no clash of temperature between the two. Otherwise,this could cause the eggs to scramble when mixing them in sauce later).

Once the two are cool – or about the same temperature, fold the eggs into the bechamel sauce. Mix it up well.

Pour the whole mixture onto that last layer of potatoes.

Bake at 350 for about an hour or so…until the Moussaka is a nice golden color. (it should also rise a bit).

And there you go! Roll out the red carpet! Kali Orexi!

#confessionoftheday : It was impossible for me to resist temptation…I had more than one piece!

The Greeks Call it Yemista- Healthy Comfort Food

Deliciously filled baked vegetables that hit the spot! Yemista as the Greeks call this rich and satisfying meal is perfect for these nippy cold autumn days. For the record, Italians make this too- they call it, Verdura Ripiena (thought I’d add that in, since today’s cook, yours truly, is Italian;)

On that note, my recipe is a mix of both cultures: A Greek delicacy with an Italian flare. I have to warn you, this dish does take a bit of time to make. Here’s my way:

About 12 vegetables

3/4lb minced meat (I use a blend of veal, pork and beef)

2 onions

1 cup rice

salt, pepper, dill to taste, chilli flakes

Pam, a tiny bit of olive oil to drizzle

You can use a variety of different vegetables such as: Zucchini, eggplant, red, green, orange..peppers, yellow zucchini squash, potatoes , tomatoes- basically any vegetable that can easily be hollowed. Today, all I had on hand were tomatoes, red peppers and potatoes.

I usually begin by scraping out the vegetables, while keeping the top for a cap (you’ll see later). Then, all the scrapings are finely chopped and lightly salted.

If you clean out the potatoes first, as I did, you will need to place them in a bowl filled with cold water. This way they won’t turn brown while you work on the other vegetables.

Mix meat, scrapings, rice and onions together. Then, in a large pan, cook the mixture. Add salt, pepper and dill to your liking. If you prefer your dishes on the spicy side (Italian touch), add some chilli flakes, or peperoncino. Keep adding water as the rice swells.

When the whole mixture is consistently cooked (rice should be almost semi cooked), just go ahead and fill up the vegetables.

Place them neatly in a greased pan (I use Pam, but you can also use olive oil). Top them with their caps (helps keep them moist and cook evenly). Add about a ½ cup of water at the bottom of pan. Drizzle a few drops of olive oil.

Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 175C (325F) for about an hour. The last few minutes, uncover and set on broil – just long enough to get them nicely roasted.

Et voila! Or as the Greeks say: Etima!

Kali Orexi! Buon Appetito!

Beauty Hoarder’s Weekend Haul!

So it was a VIP event with mega double your points at the Gallerie Beaute Pharmaprix. My youngest works there as a part time cosmetician (it’s a gene thing:)…so off I went.

Needed replenishments in some of my favourite Shiseido serums…but the show stoppers were the lipstick stains by Stila cosmetics! What won me over were the gorgeous reds. Jona the Make-up artist showed me a few tricks on how to vary the shading by simply dabbing and smudging ever so lightly- and honestly the incredible variations in colour just blew me away. The liquid eyeliner was another winner for me. Precision and smoothness in longwear- just what I need. Thank you Gorgeous Jona!

The whole experience and ambience with Mimosa cocktails and delicious hors-d’œuvres- all very chic and elegant. Oh, and did I mention the tons of gifts with purchase? Deluxe samples in an ever so elegant black and red box, plus makeup bags- all from Shiseido. Extra goodie bag from the pharmacy. Clinique baggie plus samples. Stila’s fabulous, real handbag plus plenty of samples.

So much stuff, I’m out of breath!

If you ever get called for a Pharmaprix VIP event- go! You’ll get way more than you ever walked in for.

#confessionofteday: Blew my budget once again.

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/19652191/?claim=tdfbrmr2wdr”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Quebec Designers- Montreal Fashion You Just Can’t Resist

La Braderie de la mode Québécoise is a yearly showcase and sale of Quebec’s designers. It takes place at Marche Bonsecours in Old Montreal. Here you can find the finest of our home designer’s specialties. The fashion is incredible and the talent, exceptional.

I absolutely LOVE going to this event which takes place every year, right here, in Montreal’s most historic site, by the Old Port. Every year I try so hard to contain myself from buying just about everything and anything. Too hard on myself! Not only is the merchandise fantastic- I’m just so incredibly proud of our home talent.

This year, I was sad that my beloved Ophelia (hats!) was not there (or did I just miss it in all the hustle and bustle- sigh!). But! I fell upon a fabulous handbag discovery! Do you know Mathilde CRIQUI (www.mathildec.com)? Love at first sight!

Mathilde designs all her handbags-the leather is Italian- but they are designed and manufactured here in Montreal. My heart cried out for this mustard/beige backpack/ handbag. To keep it practical and hands-free, use it as a backpack. But then, the belts just slide up and poof! It turns into a shoulder handbag. So practical! With a front pocket that can carry my tablet, and a larger pocket perfect for my Chrome notebook (or Mac notebook), there’s still extra space for all the rest us Divas like to stash in there.

Honestly, I wasn’t shopping for a handbag, but when I saw this gem- I could not resist. It took all of 10 minutes and-sold! It was mine:) It was also a great pleasure for me to meet the designer herself- she’s a sweetheart. You can find Mathilde’s beautiful handbags at most luxury boutiques on Laurier street- or of course, through her website.

I do hope you get a chance to get to the Braderie (you must because it ends this Sunday!)…oh- and I forgot to mention; prices are at least 50% off regular retail price!

If you do go to the Braderie- let me know!

I should also mention that after all that shopping you may want to step out – right next door for some refreshments at Pub Brewskey.

Cheers!

#confessionoftheday: I promised myself I would be good. Would not buy a thing other than a pair of gloves. Could not keep my promise.

All is Well…Keep the Joy

Took a great deal of life to get us where we are dear Divas. Most of us have had our share of life’s ups and downs, with all the caring, nurturing, loving, raising, care taking and working that we’ve done. We deserve to be happy and enjoy the smallest or mega things we embark on. Happiness is a choice. Joy is a feeling that belongs to us. No one has the right to take that away from us. So- don’t let anyone.

Easier said than done- especially if you were rarely first on your list of priorities. Still. Make this a priority. Take the time, breathe and allow yourself. “All is well” This is my new motivating phrase. It’s my new liberating spot. We’re smart enough to know that things are not constant. Everything passes. So why not begin today by accepting your joy?

Today, if someone or something tries to steal your joy, don’t let yourself be dragged into the trap. Breathe and say to yourself: “All is well”. (Cause eventually, you know it will be). Start now. Embark on that new venture. Do what makes you happy. Keep the joy.

Have a wonderful day beautiful Divas. “All is well”.

How do you keep your joy?

#Confessionoftheday: Am working hard at making this a priority- and it ain’t always easy, but it certainly is a work in progress!

Cheers,

Lucy ❤️

Sunday’s Sightseeing Post: Remembering Slovenia…

I didn’t get a chance to post much while in Slovenia- as my daughter’s figure skating competition was the only thing on my mind.

Ahh Ljubljana! (pronounced Lubliana). I loved this bustling yet quaint little city!  The people were very friendly and hospitable (and everyone speaks English- thankfully! The food was fine- although I have to admit that we did eat mostly pizza and salads- all of it very good.  Wish I had more time to discover local delicacies, but as time would have it, we kinda spent more time in arenas…

As for the architecture…it took me some time to see where I could place it in terms of other European cities I have visited.  Much less frills or elaborate styles than those you would find in Italy or France; but well in place within the decor.  Efficient looking is how I’d describe them for the most part.  Perhaps reflective of a different history reminiscent of a country that was once a very different regime.  Nonetheless, the centre of the city lent itself to be most picturesque!

I loved Ljubljana!  Here are some of the photos we took. Enjoy!

cb8f9c5a-6ac5-4b5c-9481-f6ea2a7289b8

With my youngest daughter❤️

Here we are with my cousin and my niece. They drove from Venice to come meet us for the competition.

More photos and clips:

https://youtu.be/SHl0Eyhp4TA

https://youtu.be/00TnBc5MV44

#confessionoftheday: I didn’t get to see the castle of Ljubljana!!

Vintage – Only Gets Better with Age

Due to fast fashion, the Vintage rule has now changed from 50 years to 10. Meaning that if you bought something in, say, 2008, it can now be called one of your vintage collectibles. But let’s be clear here, unless it’s a sentimental piece or a high quality item, we can’t just be calling any old thing, “vintage”. That being said, everything’s relative- because if you’re not planning on reselling, then the value you place on it is your own.

I personally hold on to stuff I really love and that is also dear to me. When it comes to housewares- I’ll keep almost all that’s valuable that was passed on to me through generations. Same goes for jewelry and heirlooms. But-When it comes to clothing, I don’t always care in the same sentimental kind of way. Clothing pieces that I keep are first and foremost quality items that I originally purchased because I loved them. Secondly, they must fit me well while being versatile and adaptable enough for me to re-wear and give it a new beginning.

There are just some things that I cannot part with…jackets are my big, big weakness. (We’ll get into handbags another time;) I prefer my vintage items to be suitable for the times and have an edgy and original look. I don’t really mind if the look is rather quirky and a bit outrageous.

If I can give one bit of advice that I use for myself…just make sure that your ‘oldy’ does not actually date YOU. What do I mean? Well, let’s just say you want to wear a look from the 50’s. For some younger women, a whole entire look may work just fine. However, there’s a good chance that if, for example, I were to wear this, I could be mistaken for being stuck in an era. It can be an automatic ‘ager’. That’s not so cool. Avoid this by making sure you always match up your vintage with something very ‘in’ right now. This will add pizzazz, novelty and trendiness to your look. Basically, don’t unnecessarily bring old age upon yourself- just modernize it!

Remember: Vintage is for fashion, glamour, reminiscence, colour, texture and originality. Vintage should be artsy and FUN!

Jacket by Victoria Kyriakides, bought in Thessaloniki, Greece (about 20 years ago- I swear it’s brand new- I’ve only worn it maybe 5 times!). Maryjanes haven’t graduated to vintage yet…Spring 2018, Isaac Mizrahi.

#confessionoftheday : I’m secretly more excited about re- wearing a good vintage piece, than when I wear something new for the first time. Maybe it’s like that saying about women and wine…I’ll drink to that (wink, wink;)

What’s your favourite vintage piece?

Honour thy Hairdresser…

What do you look for in a hairdresser? Mine is excellent. No. I’m serious. She just gets me. She’s intuitive, fast, fashion forward and genuinely concerned about the health of my hair- and of course- how I feel:)

I need to look stylish and upbeat- while keeping my mane luscious and healthy. I’ve learned that to get all that, you just need to listen to your stylist and…get ready for it: Trust and Obey. That’s right: especially, Obey. Yep- even us hard types MUST learn to do this. So if Cynthia says ‘it’s time to cut, colour, or treat… well, I now Obey.

I learned the hard way. I almost lost all my hair when I insisted on incessantly bleaching it (against Cynthia’s recommendations). I went from : “Wow, who does your hair?!” To: “Woah..wtf happened to your hair?!!”

Thankfully, she did not let me whither away…yes, my hair was now short, but Cynthia put a halt to my commands and started treating it like mad. She also suggested extensions to make me feel and look better. And, soon enough, my hair started growing back…fully and healthy once again.

Now, I get my hair streaked, cut and treated REGULARLY…as Cynthia dictates. And guess what? She’s right! My hair looks GORGEOUS!

If you are ever in the Montreal area (Laval), check out Concept Elite and ask for Cynthia or, the boss herself, Elvira. Both are Fabulous!

Call for an appointment and tell them I’ve recommended! 450- 936-8877

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: