18th to 23rd February 2014 – 365 DAYS OF PHOTOGRAPHY

24 February 2014

Dear Friends,
It became very hard for me to keep a track of all my images in only one single blog post and this is just the beginning of the "365 Days of Photography" challenge.
I decided to post on my blog every Monday an update of all the images I've been posting during the week in my blog's Facebook page.  So I will continue with daily photo-feeds.  However, the blog posts will be only weekly.
Here we go - starting a photo, inspired and requested by my girls (PINK, CREAM AND WHITE!).  I hope you enjoy all of the images from the past week and visit me again next week!

Review of the week that past and the images from 18th to 23rd February 2014.

18th February 2014

19th February 2014

20th February 2014

21st February 2014

22nd February 2014

23rd February 2014

Until my next post,
My very best wishes,

© 2014 - sophia terra~ziva.  all rights reserved


21 February 2014


It has been 25 years since my soul was left hollow.  And my heart cannot heal...
So many years since the day you suddenly died.  We were laughing and cuddling one day and the next morning you were gone.
I grew up that morning and found myself in your place that was left empty and big.
25 years I screeched myself hoarse of silent screams and calls to bring you back for one more hug.

I keep your hair.
I keep your smell.
I keep your blue-eyed smiles from the photos.
I keep a flower from your grave.
But I will never fill my hollowed heart that echoes from my sorrow.
Time did not heal me...

Мамо, ах как ми липсваш!

© 2014 - sophia terra~ziva.  all rights reserved


10 February 2014

We love to eat this sweet bread at home and, even that it is mostly celebrated in our family during Easter, I can have it any day.  To be honest, it is daunting the time and work that goes into it, but besides that it is so pretty, it is sensationally delicious and the textures of the bread's “strings” are unforgettable, that any effort is worth waiting for.
Sweet breads are very common part of the baking traditions of most European countries in their Jewish and Christian communities.  We call it Kozunak in Bulgaria, my family in Greece calls it Tsoureki, in Hungary it is known as Kalács, Chałka – in Poland and if you get completely lost in so many names, just ask for Brioche when in France.  I was having a sweet chit-chat with my dear friend Bella when she reminded me that she actually is baking it every week for Shabbat dinner.  Boy, that’s a lot of work if you have to do it the traditional way!
I've found the best recipe that hasn't fail me from first go and can’t stop bragging about it.  I considered myself lucky when I stumbled on the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes.  I considered myself blessed when I started baking their breads.  When in a hurry, I bake the dough in loaves.  But most often, with my two little girls growing and learning to cook and bake, we make our Flower Pots Challah and they love it!  Here is my variation of their basic Brioche recipe.

Flower Pots Challah
(Kozunak | Tsoureki | Kalács | Całka | Brioche)
Makes about 2 loaves
170 gr lukewarm water
1 packet of dry yeast
8 grams salt
4 large eggs (lightly beaten)
110 gr sugar
172.5 gr unsalted butter (melted)
695 gr unbleached all-purpose flour
Mix the yeast, salt, eggs sugar and melted butter with the water in a big bowl.  Mix in the flour until all of the ingredients are integrated.
Cover with kitchen towel and leave it at room temperature for about two hours.  After two hours fold the dough and let it rest again.  Then put it in the refrigerator overnight.  I found that is much, much easier to handle the dough and make intricate and complicated plaids if I have my dough chilled.  This way I can allow the children to be part of the braiding without having a nervous breakdown…  If you are new in the art of braiding, try to stay with two or three strands until you gain more experience and confidence working with sweet and sticky dough.
As Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes suggest, the dough can be used as soon as it is chilled.  This dough is way too sticky to use after the initial rise, but once it is chilled, it is very easy to handle.  The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  After that you can freeze the dough.
When you decide you are going to bake the brioche, take it out from the refrigerator and shape it to your desire.  Cover it with clean kitchen towel.  Let the shaped dough rest on room temperature for about 3 hours.
To bake a large, round challah: Place the pan into a preheated 200°C oven.  After 10 minutes, reduce the oven heat to 175°C and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes more.  Check the bread in 15 minutes.  Cover with aluminium foil if it shows to be browning too quickly.  I simply block the top by placing the wide tray on the rack above.  This sweet bread should be deep brown in colour when done; it also should sound hollow when tapped at the bottom.  Remove the bread from the oven, and after 10 minutes remove it from the baking pan on a rack to cool completely.
To bake the flower pots challah – Make sure the terracotta pots are food-safe.  Place the pots into a preheated 190°C oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (tent after 10 minutes if they're browning too quickly).  Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, and then turn out onto a rack.
To bake the loaves: Allow the loaves to rise till they've nearly reached the rim of the pan, about 3 hours. Bake in a preheated 175°C oven for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting with foil after 15 to 20 minutes.  You can bake the two loaves in two loaf tins at the same time in the oven.

Until my next post,
My very best wishes,

© 2014 - sophia terra~ziva.  all rights reserved


7 February 2014

Dearest friends, I am sorry – no chocolates, no champagne, no roses in this blog post.
Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish to look like a party spoiler!
But here is my little secret to keep your loved one close to your heart and it works every day, not only on the 14th of February!
My man likes deep-sea fishing in the small hours before break of dawn, and by the time the sun caresses the shores and licks the sand with its first golden rays, he will be home with some fresh fish for me.  And he will be very hungry.  Fluffy food is not something I can sustain a man of the sea with.
The menu for the day –
Organic free-range egg nestled on a bed of melted Bulgarian Feta and homemade cultured butter; cradled in smoked continental frankfurter and dusted with wood-smoked mild paprika from the La Vera region of Spain.

Slice the frankfurter lengthwise and leave about 5cm of it in one piece.  Gently open and turn around each half to form a heart and secure with a toothpick.  Place the frankfurter in a medium heated skillet and put in the middle of it first some of the cultured butter, then crumbled Bulgarian feta.  When the feta starts to melt break an egg in the middle of the nest and cook till the eggwhite is firm but egg yolk still looks runny.  Set aside and wait few minutes before plating it.  Serve with roasted cherry truss tomatoes and a salad of shaved red radish, dressed with Cretan Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Kalamata Balsamic Vinegar.

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Until my next post,
My very best wishes,

© 2014 - sophia terra~ziva.  all rights reserved

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