March 31, 2015

MUSIC FOR THE SOUL

I've been listening to a lot of the same music. I do that. I'll pick one or two artists, and not listen to much of anything else... luckily, I spend half my time listening to podcasts, and the other half listening to someone else's music at work, so I don't get sick of them quickly. Laura Marling is one. I've got a few of her records and I am so inspired by them. She is so so talented. That's all I can say. Here is False hope.





March 22, 2015

SUNDAY LINKS: GOOD FOOD

Valentina Barcelona Birthday
A picture from my cousin's husband's birthday in Barcelona. Now that is how you celebrate a birthday. We went to an Argentinian restaurant where I ate so so so much I thought I was going to explode. I hate that feeling so much. Buuuut that's in the past. Peace.

Going through all my bookmarked recipe blogs. I haven't visited most of these in ages. So many great things I'd love to make! I don't follow any food blogs on Bloglovin' or food bloggers accounts on Instagram because it's too hard to look at food all the time and not be super tempted by it. I think I follow one food blogger on instagram and that's more than enough for me to go "oh my god, I need cake. I need chocolate." How do these food bloggers do it? Seriously. It's always cake. And just because it's vegan doesn't make it healthy. What about you guys? Any good finds? New food blogs I should check out? 

Breakfast

I love persimmon! these scones, i need them
skinny blueberry muffins... I'll have one (or 6)
the prettiest egg white omelet with lots of green

Lunch & Dinner

sun-dried tomato caesar salad - remember my obsession with this salad?
tropical lentil salad with an interesting dressing
this sandwich! green goddess sandwich
lemony cauliflower risotto sounds pretty good to me
squash! my loooove

Snacks & Sides

more of this... sun-dried tomato hummus
why do I have an obsession with cauliflower?

Desserts

crème brûlée cream puffs, anyone?
yes to lemon + lavender
blood orange tarts - i need to eat one
I've been dying to have tiramisu lately...
salted caramel macarons - I made macarons for the first time last week!


March 18, 2015

TRAVEL DIARY: BARCELONA [PART II]

Barcelona Valentina Travel Barcelona Cerveceria Catalana Crema Barcelona Architecture

Barcelona Part II

Ah, here now, the second set of pictures from my time in Barcelona. It went by so quickly. Which makes me sad, because I'm also going to Dublin for a week and it's going to go by so quickly as well. Now that I have a job, I'm not going to be able to travel like this. 

Just like you saw in last week's post, I took many pictures (iphone pictures, as you can tell) of buildings and food (it's going to be great editing all of them...) I did so much walking on that trip. Unfortunately my feet were really sore by the end, and when I got back, I had to work and be on my feet all day. So it's been a hard two weeks for my feet! 

Barcelona architectureBarcelona music
Barcelona sun

The weather in Barcelona was lovely. My cousin loaned me her jean jacket, and I forgot it was winter. I'm not complaining about Paris either. Paris has been pretty nice as well. We had a few days during fashion week when we didn't even need a coat. It was great for photoshoots with Audrey. Other than that, it's been very sunny at the least.

Barcelona Seafood Barcelona Valentina selfie Barcelona food Seafood Barcelona modernisme Barcelona delicious food

I went to la Cerveceria Catalana twice while I was there. Once with a couple friends, and once on my own in the middle of the afternoon. I just sat at the bar and got half an order of patatas bravas, half an order of pimientos de padron, and something delicious with octopus. Lots of people were waiting for tables, sitting near me at the bar, drinking beer. One guy asked why I was eating alone. "Um, because I am alone?". This got me thinking. I am not the biggest fan of traveling by myself. I get very anxious if I don't feel somewhat familiar with everything, and I don't like going into restaurants or cafes I've never been to on my own. But I've been to Barcelona before, I've been to La Cerveceria Catalana plenty, so I had no problem. The same thing happens when I go to Dublin and spend hours at the Fumbally. It's something I'd like to work on. I want to be able to travel and enjoy life and enjoy cities and food and events on my own. I don't want to miss out on anything out of fear. 

Barcelona nightlife Barcelona sunrise


March 16, 2015

DÉGUSTATION DE PATISSERIES // 07

Peche 1 Peche 2 Peche 3 Peche groseille grande epicerie

La Grande Epicerie


macaron pêche groseille – After I discovered their amazing big vanilla macaron, I was excited to try everything else. After a day of walking with my dad, we went into La Grande Epicerie and chose three small macarons to taste. The peach-currant one sounded interesting though I am never that into fruity pastries unless they are actually fruit tarts. However this was really really good. Fresh taste, slightly sour, good texture. I was happy!


Eclair caramel genie

L'éclair de génie


éclair caramel au beurre salé – Last time I went to L'éclair de génie, I tried the absolutely amazing vanilla pecan éclair. I think I ate the whole thing in one sitting. It was so good and I couldn't wait to go back and try more. I took a family out on a mini pastry tour and they decided to try the salted caramel éclair. I may have nudged them in that direction because I was certain it would be the best choice. And it was. They gave me a bite, and my oh my was that rich and full of caramel flavor! Second time around, and I still highly recommend you visit this charming place when you're over here.



Pierre 1 vanille olive Pierre Hermé Pierre Hermé Carrot Pierre Hermé macaron coriandre

Pierre Hermé


ginger, coriander, coconut & lime – This one is so complex. When my dad (who doesn't have a sweet tooth) tried this, I saw his face light up. Yup, it was gooood. Pierre Hermé never disappoints. This macaron – which you can see in the last picture – had an amazing texture too. 

vanilla & olive oil – this is a Pierre Hermé classic. They always bring it back. It is subtle, creamy with little pieces of olive in it (yes, you heard me). Not extraordinarily sweet, it's quite exquisite. 

carrot & orange w/ cinnamon – My least favorite out of the three, but still really delicious. While you might not think "carrot" as a macaron flavor, we still have carrot cake, so it's not the weirdest Pierre Hermé combination I've ever seen. Almost classic, even. We were very happy. 




March 13, 2015

TRAVEL DIARY: BARCELONA [PART I]

Barcelona Valentina D 1

Let me preface this by saying that these are not good photos. I didn't take out the camera much, to be honest. So there's the explanation. And here's the apology. SORRY. These will not be the best shots you've even seen. In fact, you may be turned off by them and never feel the urge to visit Barcelona. But that would be a mistake, let me tell you! Barcelona is a damn fine city. The more I go to Spain, the more I love it. And the more I feel like I want to write like Hemingway. 

Barcelona Valentina D 2 Barcelona Valentina D 3 Barcelona Valentina D 4 Barcelona Valentina D 5

The food was fantastic. I ate more patatas bravas than were available in the city and they needed to order more potatoes. 

Barcelona Valentina D 7 Barcelona Valentina D 6 Barcelona Valentina D 10

I couldn't stop taking pictures of all the buildings! God, they were AMAZING.

Barcelona Valentina D 9

Stayed one week and took very little with me. One dress, one pair of jeans. I borrowed my cousin's jean jacket and fell in love with it!

Barcelona Valentina D 8 Barcelona Valentina D 11

I went to the museum of modernism. It was small but had some nice things.

Barcelona Valentina D 12


March 11, 2015

WHAT'S FOR BREAKFAST?

Banana granola Valentina Duracinsky eggs & citrus Valentina Duracinsky

First: homemade granola (very dangerous. I can eat so much granola. It's my favorite) with coffee flavored soy milk, apples, slightly roasted 1/2 banana, maca powder, pistachios and bee pollen

Second: when I can't decide if I want sweet or savory for breakfast... Egg white with tomato, onion, smoked salmon and cottage cheese. Side of orange + grapefruit. Berry smoothie.

smoothie Valentina Duracinsky Mango + apple Valentina Duracinsky

Third: an everything smoothie that was supposed to be a more flattering color but whatever. It tasted good. Fig, blueberry, maca powder, spirulina, banana, coconut, almond milk... probably more stuff in there I can't even remember. 

Fourth: Homemade granola with almond milk, apple, mango, shredded coconut, and bee pollen. YUM! This is just the best thing on the planet, I tell you. 

salmon rice cake Valentina Duracinsky Pancakes Valentina Duracinsky Matcha Valentina Duracinsky

Fifth: A quick little breakfast! smoked salmon with cucumber, caramelized red onions and a little bit of sweetness from fig/nut jam. All on a couple of low-cal, super awesome rice cakes.

Sixth: I keep seeing weird vegan, "super healthy" pancakes on instagram so I tried something. They were hard to flip but the taste was quite incredible. Banana, spelt flour, maca powder, beets, one egg, a bit of almond milk, baking soda, and a few blueberries and walnuts in a couple pancakes. No sugar!! Instead of just drowning them in maple syrup, I took a bit of total yogurt and added maple syrup to that. Since the pancakes were already sweet from the banana and beets, I didn't have to add much at all. It was delicious. 

Seventh: matcha latte. Hmmmm... I love matcha.



March 9, 2015

LATELY ON INSTAGRAM

lately on instagram Valentina D1 lately on instagram Valentina D2

A selfie and a smoothie... first selfie on instagram, not something to get used to. The green smoothie from a while back was delicious. I didn't have too much luck with today's smoothie. It turned out an awful brown color and not even that good. So I decided to freeze little smoothie cubes. I'll use a few in future smoothies with more of the right ingredients. Problem solved!

lately on instagram Valentina D3 lately on instagram Valentina D4

Ah, memories of the winter weekend in Italy. Cannot believe it's already March. And breakfast. I often take a picture of breakfast. 

lately on instagram Valentina D5

Ahhhhh! Delicious cocktails with Audrey and Hedonia. Mine had gin (mine always do). Memories of a very fun day. I seriously love photography... More like that one, please!

lately on instagram Valentina D6 lately on instagram Valentina D7 lately on instagram Valentina D8

Barcelona / Paris / Barcelona

lately on instagram Valentina D9

a delicious fruit. Persimmon. Each time I see this picture I remember that I want to buy another one. I hope they're still being sold! They're so so good. I haven't been eating enough veggies and fruit, I realize now. 

lately on instagram Valentina D10 lately on instagram Valentina D11

Oh... Pastries at Liberté with my friend Julia... The lemon tart was so good! I should post a picture of it. Aaaaand another building in Barcelona. I took pictures of all of them. Yes, I was that person. 



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