Keeping Family Arts Alive

20131119-201545.jpgPottery tradition goes way back in our family…. our late grandfather was a master potter. Somehow his genes passed along, as I keep finding myself more and more at the studio.

Sadly, I did not have the pleasure of learning from him directly, but grateful somehow I caught the pottery bug and will continue on the tradition. He used to make his own clay, as my dad shares the stories. We are spoiled nowadays; just buy few pounds of whatever type clay you want and you are ready.
20131119-201014.jpg
Pottery is not just wheel throwing, there are some many techniques and hand building. For example, I like combining the skills – throwing part of a bowl and finishing it off with hand building part of it.
20131119-201049.jpg
Lately, I have found myself making lot of owls. Owls of every shape, size, and personality. This was a spontaneous inspiration, as very often I don’t set out to make a specific piece. Everyone has a style of working – some of my studio peers set off with a very specific idea like ‘I will make a carafe and two tumblers’. I arrive at the studio without a thought… the clay takes shape as I start playing, throwing, or hand building.
20131119-201456.jpg
Ahhh… the world of glazing; it can make or ruin a pice of pottery. Luckily I do have a glazing muse, it’s called Nikita! A studio friend who has a magic touch with glazes. Usually a quick chat with Nikita results in picking the right glazes. Thank you Nikita!
20131119-200946.jpg
This owl is called Frankie – the blue eyes reminded us of Frank Sinatra. It is handbuilt from ochre clay, hand painted, and then glazed. Isn’t it a hoot!!
20131119-202230.jpg
Visit LaBote on Etsy to explore more unique art pieces.

Do what you love, and love what you do.

Qrimothe

IMG_0152

Do you like sweets made with sugar syrup like baklawa?

If yes!  I think you will gonna like this too it’s kind of doughnut but the taste and the texture is different we call this sweet Qrimothe.

I love Qrimothe but I try to not make them too often because they are so sweet and delicious to stop myself eating them!

Okey let’s start the batter

2 cups flour

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon-full instant yeast

1-1/2 cups water

1 egg

1 tablespoon of sugar

To Fry

1 or 2 cups oil (it depend on size of your pan)

For the Sugar Syrup

2 cups water

2,5 cups sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Let’s Do it! Do it Now!

In a bowl put flour, salt and make hole in center.

Add sugar, yeast ,water and egg.

Whisk them well.

Leave it for 20-30 min until it’s puffy.

For Sugar Syrup

Put sugar and water in a pan over medium heat.

Boil them until the syrup is thickened.

Add lemon juice and cool it completely.

To Fry

Put the oil in a deep pan over medium heat until it’s very hot.

With frosting bag or use plastic bag just cut from one corner of the bag small hole and squeeze batter in form of rings. If this is too hard for you.

Use this method. With a teaspoon take teaspoon-full (size of a nut) from batter and with help of another teaspoon slide the balls into hot oil but each time before taking the batter dip the teaspoon into hot oil to make more beautiful rounds.

shake carefully! the pan or with spatula turn the rings or rounds until they are golden brown in color.

Remove them from hot oil and still they are hot put them inside the cold syrup.

Soak them 10 min.

Serve them hot or cold.

Enjoy them with cup of hot tea, espresso or greek coffee!

(if you are using sugar in your tea or coffee try not adding sugar when you eating very sweet delicious things or just try some cinnamon stick instead of sugar)

Sham-burakat with Auntie

IMG_0619

Another yummy traditional family recipe!

I love very much being in the kitchen with my aunt because she’s very easy going and quick handed at the same time cooking and baking very deliciousss things yumm.

This week we diced to make sham-burakat  they are stuffed pie’s basically I like to call them half moons we chose to make them with meat but I like the cheese version much more.

Before starting the recipe please don’t forget always adjust the salt and seasonings  just as how much you like it and less is more.

How to do filling

3 cups finely chopped onions

4 cups medium ground meat any kind you like (pork, beef etc.)

1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper or green

1 cup finely chopped parsley

1 tbs salt

1 tbs hot pepper flakes

1 tbs pepper paste

1/2  tbs black pepper

1/2 cup butter

Put the butter and meat over high heat and continuously stir to not be stick with each other and to be cooked all over same until it gives the water and again there is no water.

Add onions and salt stir until onions well cooked.

Add peppers saute.

Add black pepper, chili and pepper paste.

Remove from the heat finely add parsley stir well let it cool completely.

IMG_0587

IMG_0588

How to do dough

1 kilo flour

2 tbs instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

1 cup lukewarm water

1/2 cup olive oil

Put all ingredients and knead them well until it forms nice and soft dough.

Cover it with cloth and let it be doubled about 1 hour.

IMG_0590  IMG_0594

Preheat oven to 250  degrees.

Cut big chestnut sized balls from the dough each time about 6 or 7 balls.

On floured surface open the balls into 7 or 8 inches rounds or as much you like them thicker or thinner.

Spread on half of the rounds filling then fold them on half moon shape and with your fingers or cutter as it shown in the picture you can close them.

IMG_0605

put them on baking sheet.

IMG_0610

Bake them until they turn golden brown or little bit more is just fine.

when you remove them from the oven brush them with butter.(optional)

IMG_0620

Instead of oven the traditional and more delicious way is to  cook them on pan over stove with little bit of butter turning each side until is bubbled to brown spots in each side and another method is which I don’t like it is to deep fry them they turn very greasy this way but some people like it but my aunt using new oven method which is healthier, cleaner and easier way to cook them in oven she says.

So you have 3 methods you can try all or choose which sounds best for you!

Traditional Apricot Jam with Grandma

image

It’s always nice to bake&cook with grandmas.

This is our grandma’s special apricot recipe which we made it together this summer. When grandma is in the kitchen for us it’s great way to reach the top tips&surprise secrets of her recipes and for her to pass the delicious family recipes to grandchildren and sometimes the greatest thing is just to do and share something together.

image

Let’s start Jamming grandmas traditional way!

1 kilo apricot

1 kilo sugar

1 lemon juice

remove all apricots seeds as seen belove

Put them in big plate the pitted side up

Sprinkle all the sugar on top of them

Leave them in the sun for one day or just leave them one day

imageimage

Put them in pan and bring them to boil then reduce the heat.

Cook them 20 min. more

Add the lemon juice and take it  from the stove.

Cool completely.

Put in the jars.

Tightly close the lids of jars.

Store it in cool dark place or just give it to someone who need or worth that!

image

Happy lovely jamming!

Organic Lemon Grass

GGG_0106

Would you like to be more healthy?

No no don’t think it’s a SURPRISE or miracle it’s very easy just try to add it to your food and maybe sip 1-2 cups of lemon grass as tea daily.

Then it’s time to meet lemon grass and how you can stick with it.

IMG_0581

Anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, antioxidant and therapeutic yes! these small pieces of dried lemon grass has all of these properties isn’t that just amazing and to use them you only have to brew a cup of this as a tea or use it grounded in your food.

You will gain a lot of benefits while drinking or eating lemongrass such as:

  • Contribute the death of cancer cells with no noted negative effect on normal cells.
  • It helps to strengthen nervous system and may thus be useful for Parkinson’s disease.
  • Contributes to liver and pancreatic health by helping the body to more quickly remove toxins.
  • It also lover or normalize cholesterol levels.
  • Alliviate muscle spasms by relaxing the muscles thereby leading to the reduction of pain-related symptoms.
  • It’s useful for all types of pain abdominal pain, headaches, joint pains, muscle pains, digestive track spasm, muscle cramps, stomachache and others.
  • Improve the blood circulation.
  • Heals acne makes skin brighter.
  • Eat and drink it for your health, for yourself!

Holiday Gifting Edition

20131110-094133.jpg
We decided to share with you some of our favorite Holiday Gifting ideas. This is usually a wonderful time of the year but also possibly the most stressful – as many try to shop for gifts and worry about giving/not giving.

Giving starts with true care and knowing the people you are giving to. Some of the best things we received were not material gifts at all. Last year, one of the best gifts I received was a lavender eye pillow made by my good friend using lavender from her garden and stitching the pillow herself.

With a few ideas we hope to reduce your stress and make this a great year of giving:

1. Hosting a dinner or potluck
What can be more cozy and fun – we are social creatures. Giving from your time and opening your home to your friends is a great gift in itself.

2. Hand Made
Never gets old to make some of the gifts you are giving. In the process of it, you will even figure out who you care enough to handmade something for or not. We made ceramic owls this year for our nearest and dearest ones; some as desk ornaments an some hanging. See a few examples here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LaBote

3. Care Baskets
This a new one for us. This year we are making care baskets filled with easy goodies to give for friends in need. Here are some of the items: gas card, crackers, cheese, fruits, home made cookies,… give practical things that will help them stretch their budget.

For more ideas, we have compiled some of our favorite sites:

For the Artist
Give a gift certificate to a local art studio.

art supplies:
http://www.dickblick.com/

prints and other:
http://fab.com

For the Foodie
Give a gift certificate for a local cooking class.

http://fab.com

http://chefscatalog.com

For the Humanitarian
First, if you can, give to legitimate charities in your city.

Second, do global good, give to legitimate charities that help humanity globally.

For the Fashion Lover

http://fab.com

http://shopbop.com/ci/4/lp/holiday-gift-guide.html

For the Person who has Everything
Surprise them and give them a hug!

Quality always wins over quantity, both for gifts and friends. Giving is not about giving a lot of stuff, it’s in giving meaningfully.
Happy giving!

20131110-094149.jpg

Solar Dried Banana 100%

Image Especially during winter I like to have some natural dried fruits because of their nutritive value and long shelf life and of course they are very healthy snack you can carry with you everywhere you go. Dried fruits has long tradition of use dating back to the fourth millennium BC in Mesopotamia. For overall health of your heart banana contains high potassium quantity and helps with all signs of low potassium like body weakness, muscle cramps, stomach upsets, irritable bowel disease and irregular heartbeat. If you are purchasing dried fruits rather than making them at home, pay close attention that you are buying organic, no sugar and fat added products.

Happy healthy snacking!