Thursday, 20 October 2016

Zucchini and chickpeas balls - Vegan

Because many people have asked, here is the recipe for my zucchini and chickpeas balls.
Absolutely vegan and delicious!

Great as appetizer (at parties) or used on a main dish plate.

Degree of difficulty: Medium

Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 20 - 30 min
Total: 35 – 45 min
Servings: around 30 - 35 meatballs


1 big zucchini or 2 smaller
1 can of chickpeas (already cooked)
1 spoon of cumin seeds or powder
100 mg of flour – or more
1 tablespoon salt (to taste)

2 tablespoons of sesame seed (or other seeds)
1 tablespoon of garlic powder or 2 crushed garlic cloves
½ tablespoon of chili powder
½ tablespoon of coriander powder
fresh parsley
You'll also need 200 – 300 ml of oil for frying (your choice: sunflower, olive, rice, almonds, cocos, etc.)
Or even better, you could bake them and you won't need the oil.


Check the chickpeas, most of the time are not cooked enough. If still hard, you need to cook them until they are tender – in the microwave or saucepan – from 5 to 10 min. When tender, using a potato masher, coarsely mash and put them in a big bowl.

In the meantime, wash the zucchini, cut it into big pieces and use only the hard part with all the skin – if they are bio. Mine were), if are not bio, you should peel the skin off. Grate the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor. I would suggest squeezing as much moisture out of the zucchini as possible – use your both hands. :p. Dump the squeezed zucchini into the bowl, on top of the chickpeas.

Add the salt, cumin, flour, plus whatever you feel like it, mixed all together and prepare the balls. If you cannot make the balls, because too watery, add more flour. You could also add some porridge mix.

In the meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy nonstick frying pan. Fry until golden brown on both sides (turn them over).

If you prefer a healthier variant, you could bake them for 30 min until golden brown. I must admit, I prefer the fried variant. They have a more intense flavour

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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Social platforms and arrogance

We all know what arrogance is, right?

But for the sake of this post, let's assume we don't, OK?

Arrogance is  an insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people; an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions.

I admit that I've been arrogant several times in the past. Except I didn't know it was arrogance. I thought I had the right to feel that way because I have worked hard.
I read a lot in my life and that made me believe I deserved a little more consideration than others.
Luckily, I don't feel the same nowadays. But first I needed to understand that nothing gives us the right to think we are better than others.
I read because I like to, not because I am smarter. It's a passion of mine.

The other days I had a discussion with the guy I never met in person. I had a look at his page first and I found him interesting. 1 minute after starting to chat, I realised that it was all for show.
I don't like Facebook, people posting all sorts of things to make them feel better. They don't have secrets and annoy everyone with their silly updates. People who have things to do, who are happy, don't waste their time with such frivolities.”
I could not agree more, that's exactly what I think, but does that give me the right to feel superior?
Absolutely not!
I don't like letting people know what I do every 5 seconds, so I don't update my status. I don't have the will, nor the time.

Facebook is a social platform, we are free to update our status any 2 seconds, if we really want to do so. We are free to post anything about our lives. That's one reason it's so popular.
If you don't like it, cancel your profile. Nobody forces you to stay in there.
Updating your status with intelligent quotes of famous humans, and criticising everyone else for expressing their own thoughts, is not a sign of superiority, of the contrary, a demonstration of pure arrogance.

I am annoyed when some of my friends update their status every five minutes, because they are making me miss on updates of other of my friends. 
I would really like people to consider that when they post. Monopolising an entire page with frivolities, will induce people to give you ignore, and not because they don't like you, but because they'd love to stay in touch with other people too.
But then again, it is up to every each of us.

I have several friends who don't have accounts in there, and what I have found out about this choice is kinda worrying. One reason many don't bother, is because they are afraid of peoples' reactions, comments or impressions.
Just a few admit that in front of others, others lie to themselves thinking is because they don't have time. On the other hand, these people have accounts on different social platforms which don't work the same way as Facebook.

Other reasons could be lack of time, different interests, privacy, introversion, lack of confidence and sense of consideration for their own person, etc.

I once been asked how many biographies I read.
I don't keep track of the books I take in my hands, so I didn't answer.
This guy then said that he was sure to have read much more than me.
That phrase alone, tells you how arrogant a person can be.

Same guy dominated the chat with things about himself and it didn't give me the way to intervene. I told him I don't have time to reply to his statements, and I really disliked the way the conversation went. I also found his personality shallow and narcissistic. 
He paused for a second to come back with: “I don't like virtual discussions, they could be deceiving. If I was in front of you, you'd have liked me.”

I agree that virtual relationships could be tricky, but they still say a lot about your interlocutor and yourself, of course.

I know of a person who's extremely honest, sensible, sensitive, generally a great person. This person cannot stand superficiality, vulgarity, opportunism and all these negative things.
I like this person a lot, but when he starts to fight with those whose personality is rich in expressions of vulgarism, I cannot stop myself from thinking that he's extremely arrogant and doesn't know it.

How can he/she be like that? It is wrong!
Why don't you react, why don't you partner with me if you think the same?
How can you ignore the way he speaks and act?

It is simply not my business
I am not fond of modern art, so I don't buy any item like. But if I bought  something I do not like, and complained every day about how bad that looks, and how unhappy it makes me feel every time I see that object, what does that say about my personality? Masochism?

We cannot tell people how to act, what to eat, say, dress, think.
We cannot impose our way of thinking and acting on others.
Every each of us is different, we need to accept these divergent personalities if we want to have a peaceful atmosphere around us.
When we don't like something or someone, we have the choice to either stay away, to ignore and maintain calm, or to complain or fight with every opportunity. 
I consider the last choice, extremely energy consuming. I could employ my energy in better ways. But that's only me.
Remember that we have NO right to impose our culture, beliefs, ideas, opinions, and so on; but we are free to express them.

The only person we could change, is US. I can change myself, but I cannot change you.

We might be more profound than other people, we could have read infinite more than others, we could own several diplomas, we could have knowledge, but intelligence is something else.

When we are wise, we don't feel arrogant. 

We focus on what we can or should do, not on what others say. That's their business.  

I must be honest though and say that if I was an employer, before hiring a person, I would have a look of their accounts on social platforms. I would not employ many people based on that. But we are just human beings. With design flaws. 

The conclusion is: we are all different, and some are indeed better than others - as I've written in here -, it is nothing wrong with being aware of our qualities/strengths/merits, what is wrong is to feel superior and despise everyone around you. 

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Sunday, 2 October 2016

Ordinary or extraordinary - How can we tell?

I was born and raised in the East of Europe. I lived in Italy for ten years.

I came to England in June of 2014. I instantly fell in love with the English culture. I love the politeness and diplomacy of people in general. And I love the rain. I really, deeply do. - It's crazy, I know. -
I found a job in three days and many superlatives were used to describe my personality, sense of duty, character and so on. After long years of unspeakable mistreatments, it made me feel that I was finally treated as a human being and valued as an individual. I couldn't believe my luck and I was very happy and grateful.
One month later, I was asked to apply for an office job and I needed a cover letter, plus a "serious" CV.
An English friend offered to help me with that.

I said I needed some examples as I had no clue of what English companies expect from people. She then asked a common friend to show me his cover letter.

I've started to read to instantly burst in laughs thinking it was a joke.
“No, it is not a joke. It's how it works in here.”
In total disbelief I thought for a while and said I cannot provide anything like that. "It isn't me."

“What are you planning to do then? You have to give value to yourself. This is selling your skills, your experience, your entire being.”

“I cannot use these words. It's ridiculous. Do people believe in such absurdities? Take our friend. He's an average human being - and it's nothing wrong with that – but the superlatives he used when describing his person are all false. I won't lie. I would keep cleaning apartments for whole my life if that's what it takes.”

But my friend had faith in me. She knew I was a perfect fit for the job, she trusted my capacity of delivering great service to any company, she didn't give up and wrote the letter for me. I was in tears and felt extremely ashamed. I couldn't believe what I had to do to apply for a job I didn't even want! I went into my room, closed the door and sobbed for hours until she came with a bag full of chocolates. I ate three while she's explained to me that I will have to adapt, as I did so many times before. “It's not the end of the world and all the superlatives I used in your letter are absolutely true. I know you very well. Have a look.”
She handed me the letter and after I read it, I said: “But I don't believe these things about me! You know that well.”

“Of course I know, but that's because you have no confidence. You are extremely hard on yourself and set too high standards. There is nothing ordinary about you. How come you can't realise how amazing you are? These superlatives are not misleading. Not in your case at least. Trust me. “

“Then how can a company make a distinction between ordinary and extraordinary people if each job applier uses the same words and are all superlatives?! How could anyone tell who speaks the truth and who's inventing?”
“That's the job of your face to face interviewer.”

“But my English is a disaster. I have never been to an interview before. I am terrified and I am sure I won't be able to say a word. They will never see me for the person described in the letter. They will humiliate me.”

“Nobody will humiliate you in here, people are not like that. And if they don't see you for what you really are, then it's only their loss. You'll go to the interview, no matter how it goes, you'll still get something from it which is experience. ”

I listened to my friend because I trusted her judgement, she's a remarkable human being, and I will always be grateful for helping me so many times.

I've got the job, but not because the interviewer thought I was fantastic. And she did say something that made me feel humiliated. I still remember those words, but I knew she didn't do it on purpose.

I came a long way since then and I now believe that I deserve most of the superlatives people use when speaking about me. But they mean nothing to me. They don't make me feel proud of any of my achievements or qualities.

In a world where fantastic, brilliant, great, amazing, magnificent, excellent, and so on, are used as simple interjections, I feel just average. And it's sad, because I am no ordinary person.

What words we have left to use when we really think something or someone is outstanding?!

What's the point of always giving your best if when you leave, the letter of recommendation will contain exactly the same words as the one for a person who often came late, didn't respect the rules, avoided to commit, etc.?

I might not feel valued all the time, but I still do my best because that's a choice I made when I was just a child. 

I might not always deliver outstanding results, but not because I didn't do everything in my power, but because I am only human and I have limits. 
And you should do the same, so you can have reasons to respect yourself.

Have a fabulous day. Not an ordinary fabulous, but F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S!

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Saturday, 24 September 2016

Dress code, respect and self-respect

This post was initially published on LinkedIn

The company I work for, BPA quality, has had a summer dress-down period. The initiative was highly appreciated by all employees, except one: me. 

But why wasn't I happy with it? 
Well, I was born and raised under a communist regime; we had to wear uniforms in kindergarten, schools and almost every day life events.

See my only picture as a student wearing my second style of uniform. Yes, it was black and white, a ripped pocket, trousers and a dolcevita jumper underneath. A complete elegance disgrace.

Believe or not, I loved the uniforms and I have never thought they were imposed. I grew up thinking that there is an etiquette for everything and was only fair.
I have never broken down these rules... except for the hair etiquette.

During the communism, girls with long hair were required to wear their hair in one or two braids/plaits. I have never had time for such a thing so I almost never followed this rule.
One day, my history teacher gave me a choice: either put my hair into a braid or leave the class.
I was a very good student and I have missed school just once in my life - and not by choice – I couldn't leave the class. I put my hair into a braid for the hour, but I never liked that teacher again. She was such a communist!!!

Growing up, I looked up to my sisters and parents and they were/are very elegant people.
My mum loved bright and very intense colours, but not to wear them. She was quite formal in everyday life. I have never seen her wearing trousers or dresses, just dark, below knee skirts and white or pale shirts. An inspiration to me.

My sisters were attentive with their looks, especially Alexandrina. She loved high heels and vaporous dresses or skirts. A goddess! I was so hooked by her style. When she wasn't at home, I used to wear her impossibly high heels shoes (and lipstick) around the house. She knew, of course, because the lipsticks were finished in a matter of days, but never said anything.  - Keep in mind it was still black and white photographies era and during the communism regime, clothing, make-up and many other things were considered not vital, therefore, very difficult to find. - This is another story though.

My dad was the worst, he'd always looked into a mirror for several minutes before going out. Everything had to be in place, the outfits were always to be freshly cleaned and the right size. He had the appearance of a president when he was a simple farmer.
I was five when I asked him why is he so concerned with his looks.
He looked at me and simply stated:
“Respect. Remember child, when you are in public, you have the duty to show respect for the environment and the people in it.”
I thought my dad was/is an exceptional human being and have never forgotten those words.

My love for clothing, high heels and deep red lipstick is well known. I am eccentric, a person once said– not a compliment to me – but being told (very often) that modelling would be the perfect career for me, is a hell of a compliment.
I love bright colours, but unlike my mum, I wear them often.
Some people think I am obsessed with my looks. I am not, it comes natural to me and if you read the word above – about my family - you'll understand why. I am an Eastern European woman with different principles and mentality.
I don't spend a fortune on my outfits, but I do spend an awful amount of time searching for the best deals.

Yes, I wear high heels and casual, informal or semiformal clothing at work, but I am not saying that we all have to do that. High heels are difficult and unhealthy, but they are so elegant! Isn't that right? Nevertheless, I don't think I would be happy wearing them everyday in a very active work role.
My actual job is very sedentary, it is extremely easy to wear high heels when you sit for almost the whole day. I am thrilled to have this opportunity.

We are white-collar people and I think a streetwear it is not appropriate in an office environment. As it is not a clubwear, heavy make-up or emo look. There is a time and a place for any outfit (and behaviour).

In a church - dress like a nun, in an office – like a serious and trustworthy person, in a club – do whatever you think is appropriate, at home you can stay naked, but make a distinction. We are humans, we have the power of discernment.

There are written and unwritten rules about everything and it is up to us following them.
I cannot tell people how to dress in every situation, it's neither my place or desire.
What I do feel to say and ask is to have a shower every day, PLEASE.
Deodorants and perfumes don't cover the sweat smell, of the contrary!
Do wash your hair as often is needed. I know some say that it is not good to wash your hair every day – opinions are divergent – but please, do your best. If not for you, do it for others. It is not so difficult and there is always time. Don't invoke this excuse.


I thought that it will take me five minutes to write this post, as I had a clear idea about what to write and how, but I decided I would look up online for information and opinions – as always when I write for people – in the end I spent like three hours for just a few ideas.

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

International Day of Peace

Did you know that on 21st of September the world celebrates the peace?
I didn't.
Photo from

I don't have much to say, I never lived a war, my parents have though. The stories I heard are absolutely monstrous.
Sleeping when bombs flow around you, is unthinkable.
They were children back then.
My parents don't tell the story from own initiative, they forced themselves to forget, but I had to ask and they told me. My heart broke, instantly. The terror was settled everywhere in every second. They've seen people dying next to them, planes crashing in the garden, soldiers with guns threatening children...  little girls used to cover themselves in blood so people will spare them... not rape them because they looked disgusting. My mother had to do that many times.

There is nothing worse than war. I do not understand why people still create them.

Let's think and pray for peace today. Let's act peacefully. Let's be nice with one another, and not only today, but everyday, every second.
The universe will hear and listen to us.

May your life be always peaceful. Happy peace day!

If you like this post, please feel free to comment or share it with others who might benefit from reading it.
Sharing is Caring. 
If any of the above helped you in any way, as a Thank You, visit my LinkedIn account or like my Facebook page.