By the sea..

All these years in Florence the thing I missed the most is definitely the sea. So now I’m back to Greece and finally sooooo close to the sea!
Today I spent the whole day swimming (first swim for this year) and finally dinning in a simple and wonderful place by the sea. Goodnight everyone!
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“Unofficial” Goodbye..

The time has come.. I just left my house in Florence and I’m on my way to Ancona and then to my hometown, Athens.

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This change will be really difficult at first. Of course I’ll miss this amazing city and all the people I’m leaving behind. This is an unofficial goodbye not only because I’m coming back soon for my thesis, but because I intend to visit really often! So beware!
Below some photos from this last week in Florence. Have a nice day people!

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Epidaurus, Old town

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Where culture meets nature…

Counting down

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Μέσα Ιουλίου και στην Αθήνα βράζει ο τόπος. Δρόμοι μισοάδειοι. Η πόλη περιμένει να αδειάσει τελείως, οι Αθηναίοι να φύγουν σε κάποια εξοχή, ιδανικά σε κάποιο νησί, να αδειάσει μαζί με την πόλη και το μυαλό και να επέλθει η επιθυμητή…νιρβάνα!

Η φετινή χρόνια ήταν -για εμένα προσωπικά- πολύ κουραστική. Κυρίως ψυχολογικά, γιατί βρισκόμουν σε μια ατέρμονη αδημονία, μετρούσα μέρες, έχοντας συνεχώς μπροστά μου κάτι να περιμένω, ενα ταξίδι, τις εκλογές, μια πρεμιέρα (όχι δική μου!), μια μετακόμιση. Και τώρα, που έγιναν όλα αυτά, μαζεύω τα κομμάτια μου και περιμένω να έρθει ο Αύγουστος, ο σωτήριος μήνας των καλοκαιρινών διακοπων, της θαλασσινής αιγαιοπελαγίτικης δροσιάς, μαγείας και αποφόρτισης…

Αλλά περιμένω κι άλλα πράγματα. Περιμένω να ξαναβρεθώ στη σαγηνευτική Επίδαυρο. Περιμένω πώς και πώς να έρθει η Χρυσούλα (aka chryspa) πίσω, να κάνουμε catch up και να οργανώσουμε όμορφα πράγματα, να μαγειρέψουμε, να φωτογραφίσουμε (-ει), να φάμε, να γνωρίσουμε κόσμο, να κάνουμε βόλτες και πάει λέγοντας! Περιμένω το Σεπτέμβρη, που θα ανέβει για πρώτη φορά η αγαπημένη μου φίλη Ισιδώρα στη σκηνή του Ηρωδείου (περισσότερα για αυτό σύντομα!). Περιμένω τη νέα σεζόν, που θα έχουν όλα μπει στην “θέση” τους και θα συνεχίσουμε με ακόμα περισσότερη διάθεση και ενέργεια και αγάπη την καθημερινότητά μας. Η ζωή είναι μπροστά!

Εύχομαι να βρίσκεστε ή να βρεθείτε σύντομα σε κάποια παραλία, να ξεκουραστείτε και να διαβάσετε πολλά, ωραία βιβλία, να δοκιμάσετε ωραία πιάτα, να κάνετε πολλά μπάνια και να φάτε πολλά παγωτά.

 

Tuscany part 7: My 28th Birthday at Volpaia!

I woke up this morning intending to share with you some moments from my 28th birthday which was definitely the strangest birthday till now. Why? Well this is the last year or better the last week i’m living in Florence after 8 years of studies. I might have 2 exams left but i’m leaving my house here and I move permanently in Athens. So these last days here are so difficult and emotional for me. So many things to do and no time for doing even the half of them. So this morning I ended up looking photos from my previous birthdays in Florence, so many different people in them, dearest friends, friends of friends, some of them total strangers but all of them people i’ll never forget.

But let’s go back to yesterday. Me Nikos, Robert and Elena went for lunch at Volpaia, an amazing fortified village of medieval origin, situated between Radda in Chianti and Panzano in Chianti. So for lunch we went at Bar Ucci, owned by Paola the most welcoming hostess, she will always find a table one way or another, and her mother Gina in the kitchen, the funniest tuscan lady!

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When we got there the weather was good, then it started raining so we were not able to go for a walk outside the village, but seeing Volpaia only was more than enough! On our way back to Florence the weather changed again so we stopped to take a small walk and enjoy our last moments in magical Tuscany.

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Thanks to Nikos for the photo above! Below my improvised 4 piece birtday cake and some pics from my past birthdays in Florence.

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Two steps closer..

Hello people! Yesterday was the last day at the university with my classmates. We were all day at the university’s department at San Niccolò area for our Architecture and Environment Lab exam, my last exam of a laboratory! After that I have only 2 exams left for my masters degree.. Below some pics on my way, during and after the exam. Have a nice evening!

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Disaronno Terrace..

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Hi everyone! Yesterday I attended the Disaronno Terrace event at Società Canottieri Firenze (Rowing club).. It’s the second event organized by Disaronno in Florence and every week they’re organizing similar events all over Italy. Of course the location in Florence is the best by far!

Great music by WHITE CHESTNUT featuring Valentina Nervi and Alessandro Gigli..!

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Sea bream for lunch..

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Hi everyone! Today I took the first exam for this last semester so now i’m 3 exams closer to my degree..!

For lunch Nikos prepared a sea bream fillet with rosemary, garlic and lemon in the oven. Accompanied by french fries and tomato-onion salad is the tastier combination! Buon appetito!

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Earlier this morning..

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

Pancakes for breakfast!

Good morning everybody!

It has been a tough month, but -hey!- I am finally back! I hope that my adsl network will be fixed by tomorrow and I will be posting more often from now on…

Yesterday it was a hot Sunday morning, so I decided to have breakfast on my balcony! The best choice for breakfast is of course pancakes! The recipe is very simple. You can garnish the pancakes with many different spreads. The most common combination is pancakes with maple syrup. I also like them very much with nutella, honey, fruit etc! Yesterday though we tried them with yoghurt and honey! And they were delicious!

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Recipe

(Source)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

We mix separately the solid and the liquid ingredients and then we combine and blend the two mixtures. We heat up a small pan with a little butter on it.  Then we stir 1-2 scoops of the mixture and help it spread a little. It needs to stay thick (unlike the crepes). After 3-4 min. we turn it upside down and 2 min. later it is ready!

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Have a nice week everybody! :)

Parmesan “keftedakia” surprise..

Hi everyone! Today i’m sharing with you a recipe me and Nikos prepared last week for the  international Parmiggiano Reggiano culinary contest! Check here our recipe and upload yours until July 18th!

To take part, recreate a typical dish from your culinary culture using Parmigiano Reggiano, the King of Cheeses, and then share your recipe! The best 30 recipes, judged and selected by a panel of chefs, will be published in the first Parmigiano Reggiano CrossCooKing recipe book. There will also be a special surprise for the most interesting interpretation!

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Kofta, in Greek κεφτές (keftés), is an Azerbijanian, Balkan, Indian, Iranian, Middle Eastern, and Turkish meatball or meatloaf. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat—usually beef or lamb—mixed with spices and/or onions. In India, Turkey and Iran, koftas are usually made of lamb, beef, mutton or chicken, whereas Greek and Cypriot varieties are usually made of beef, veal, pork or mixtures of them. In Greek cuisine they are usually fried and eaten with tzatziki or yogurt.

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Ingredients

  • 500g minced beef or a mixture of minced beef and pork
  • 3 slices of stale bread without crust
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar
  • 1 egg finely chopped fresh oregano, fresh mint leaves, and parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • Yogurt seasoned with paprika and lemon zest

Preparation

Put the bread in bowl and drizzle with vinegar. Add the rest of the ingredients along with the minced meat and the herbs. Preferably grate the onions over the mixture so it gets infused by their juice. Season with salt and pepper. Scrunch and mix up well, then cover and place in the fridge to bind for at least 30 minutes. Remember: the more the mixture remains in the fridge the more aromatic the meatballs become. Divide the meat mixture in small pieces. Mould and pat each piece into comparatively flat meatballs, wetting your fingertips in water every now and then. Add a piece of parmesan cheese in the middle and wrap it. Dust them with flour, shaking the excess away, and stir-fry in olive oil. Dip the meatballs in the yogurt sauce. Buon appetito!

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photos © chrysoula papagianni

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